My Birthing Story

WARNING: My birthing story could be a trigger. It was not a smooth labour, nor was it a nice one - it was traumatic. If you are sensitive, keep a box of kleenex at hand. This post is going to also be long so make sure you are comfortable with a cup of caffeine and a few hobnobs.

As giggles surround the new black glittered walls of my small flat whilst the droplets of water pitter-patter against my misty windows, I hear her laughing at the angels that visit her in her dreams. Beautiful long eyelashes outline her big blue eyes that take my breath away, her little hands closed into tight fists, and her feet entwined comfortably in her favourite giraffe printed baby pink blanket. Peering over to her tiny, fragile body, I can't help but think about how lucky I am to have such a gorgeous little girl in my life that I carried in my womb for a day less than eight months.

Everyday I wake up to her cheeky smile and her hand gently stroking my face. Everyday her personality shows more and more and a little attitude is beginning to blossom. Morning to evening she makes me laugh with the facial expressions she pulls, not once have I ever seen such a funny baby. I could be biased, but she is the most beautiful, hilarious, and cheekiest baby I have ever laid eyes on - and she's mine. 

All the pain I screamed and cried through was completely worth it, as now I have the gift I have always wanted, cried over, and begged for; she is my everything. My pregnancy was smooth with the few hiccups that were minor. At the beginning I was scared because I thought I was having an eptopic pregnancy but everything turned out fine, and towards the end of the pregnancy I had a few scares that my waters were breaking. In the end, they did. Four weeks and one day early.

"It's time."

3rd April 2016
Hungry baby screams slowly came closer and closer, louder and louder, as my nephew was being carried to my room by Hayley, his mother. His hunger was great and his cry was greater. As his bottle was being made, I held him tight in my arms, cooing him to settle down. Not too much longer later, Hayley strolled back in my room and held her beautiful little boy back in her arms... and I felt a trickle of water between my legs.

10:30pm: Rushing to the bathroom, I thought I couldn't hold my bladder together and I had probably just pregnancy peed a little bit - so, so wrong. As I sat over the loo, a gush of straw coloured water poured down and I panicked. It was too early! Shouting for Hayley, she came rushing upstairs and I asked her if it was really my water, there was no mistaking it, it's time. Fast, Hayley ran down two flights of stairs to my Mum's room and quickly told her my waters had broken and I needed to get to the hospital. Her reply? "Oh Shit." Typical Mum.

Reason to going to the hospital rather than staying at home like a normal mother-to-be would, is that my baby was going to be premature and I needed my contractions to be stopped so I would be able to have antibiotics and steroid shots before she arrived - better chance of a healthier and better recovery for the baby. 

I never mentioned, that morning I had already visited the hospital over a water leaking scare and I had already started having mild contractions. My leakage was quickly checked and I was monitored for the contractions, all seemed perfectly fine and I was told that the contractions were so mild that they wouldn't take any effect on my pregnancy. Oh how wrong were they, as it was the same evening my waters broke.

Grabbing both my hospital bags, my Mum shouted me to quickly get into her car. I rang Alexander and told him I would be going to the hospital as my water had broke but he should come later as I am only allowed one person in triage with me; my Mum can drive so I chose her to come with me. Plus, she is one of the people I want in the delivery room when it was time to push out my baby. Around twenty minutes later I arrived at the hospital and moved straight into triage where I was put on a monitor for a further twenty minutes. Sure enough, I was having contractions. My leakage was checked and it was definitely amniotic fluid this time.

Five minutes before I was moved to the ward alone, Alexander arrived with so much excitement. My Mum kindly offered for Alexander to stay in my bed tonight so they can come back to the hospital quicker the next morning. Being in the ward alone was scary, there were women in labour, women screaming, women sleeping, and women terrified. Midwives and nurses ant-like gathered around the hallways and ward rooms helping out every single mother-to-be with their kind, gently, encouraging words.

I saw midwives holding and rubbing women's backs to make their labour a little easier. I knew not long now I will be going through the same thing. Good thing was, I couldn't feel my contractions even when they were hitting 70 on the scale, maybe because I wasn't in active labour yet; my cervix was still high and tight. The wards became quieter as the night went on, women were moved from the ward to delivery room one by one, and tiny cries of newborn babies were heard from a distant from the recovery ward down the hall.

Excitement grew, nervousness itched me, and tiredness eventually knocked me out. 

4th April 2016 
Before I knew it, Alexander was sitting by my side watching the TV I accidentally left on. He peered over to me, smiled, and gave me a sweet kiss. I was so thankful that he was there. Midwives did their morning checks and it turned out my contractions had stopped, but because my waters had broken already, I couldn't go home. My antibiotics had been started and my second steroid injection was inserted into my thigh.

Like a sweet boyfriend and father-to-be, Alexander fetched me everything I need and thought I didn't need. His excitement grew as he saw around him what would soon be happening to me. It was a long day but he stayed by my side to keep me company and gave me all the support I needed, even my Mum came to visit after she finished work and gave me her support. Eventually, one of the midwives came to put a monitor on my stomach and told me that I will be induced either 11pm the same night, or 9am the next morning.

Peering over to Alex for a helping hand in deciding, he comfortably told me it was my decision as it is my body and my choice - the same night it is then. Reason being, I would rather have the pessary inserted next to my cervix at night so I could sleep through until the contractions started; well rested for the delivery. Smart choice? I thought so too!

.... or so I thought.

Alexander and my Mum had left at 8pm that night when visiting hours were over. I had a few hours to relax before my induction was to start. Relaxing next to the TV, enjoying me-time, one of the midwives eventually came to insert the pessary and check my cervix. Oh hell on earth it hurt! I squealed as she felt my cervix and then inserted the pessary - no one warned me about the pain. If this hurt, how was I going to cope through labour?!

5th April 2016
Only three hours later, 2am, my contractions had started and with vengeance. They say being induced is worse than naturally going into labour, and no one was lying, the pain was unbearable. It was only 2am and I was told it could take up to 24 hours for the induction to work, or, it wouldn't even work at all. Damn me and my body. It wasn't long later before I had to have my cervix checked again to see if the contractions were making any change - nope. 

I progressed quickly as at only 3am my cervix was checked again, I was 2cm dialated and my cervix was low and paper thin... it's almost time for active labour. Now, the pain was intense and I had no break inbetween contractions. I was screaming; I was shouting; I couldn't get comfy. Midwives rushed to my side and inserted morphine into the top of my bum; it was supposed to last 4 hours, but for me, it lasted 45 minutes. Kindly, a midwife sat on the bed, rubbed my back, held my hand and told me everything was going to be okay. Constant pain was taking over my body, I was advised to take a bath as they 'help calm down contractions and pain.' Bullshit. It made them worse! 

Pushing myself forward in the bath, I felt like I was being torn in two. Screaming, shouting, crying, pacing up and down in the actual bath, I then tried to lie down and meditate. Hahahaha Lauren, you fool! As if that would even work. Bathing wasn't helping and I stumbled out the bath. Walking through the corridor I screamed for help as I couldn't handle it anymore. Gas and air was wheeled next to my bed and I tried to get high as possible - it didn't work. Pain was greater. My cervix was checked one more time and two more midwives were called and rushed to my room. I was only 3cm dialated but as a monitor was on me, they could see the contractions were not normal.

Rushing to the delivery room, one midwife called my Mum for her and Alexander to come immediately as it was time and there were complications. 

Delivery room.
No one warns you of the complications that could come with labour, most women just tell you about their labour being smooth. TV shows don't help when they only show the good labours, not the bad. Mine was bad.

Screams after screams, I saw Alexander and my Mum run into the delivery room to my side. Gas and air was being huffed and puffed constantly as my contractions wouldn't stop, and every time the contraction reached it's peak, I screamed at the top of my lungs. I had no pain relief to help me. The epidural doctor was called in, but as she was watching the monitor, every time I reached the peak, my baby's oxygen levels were dangerously dropping so low. My epidural was not going to happen unless the doctor could put a monitor on my baby's head - she couldn't - every time she pushed a wide tube up my vagina, I screamed in pain and kicked at her.

Not being able to control the pain, the Doctors and midwives were encouraging me to fight the pain so the monitor could be placed on the baby's head. Again and again the Doctor tried, but again and again I screamed, begged, and kicked her to stop. Pushing. I started pushing without even realising. All I heard was the Doctor say: "she's at 10cm, she needs to push." I looked down and saw a bulge where my baby was beginning to come out.

NO PAIN RELIEF. It was an unplanned all natural labour.

In 10 minutes I had gone from 6cm to 10cm and began pushing on my own. By now I was woozy from the pain and the screaming so I don't remember actually pushing, all I remember is the pain of being torn in two. Only 10 minutes later my baby was placed on my chest.

She was warm, slimy, pale white and not breathing.

Alexander quickly cut the cord and my baby was rushed to the other side of the room with my Mum so the neonatal nurse could begin CPR and give her an oxygen mask to get her breathing. Seconds felt like minutes. I looked over to my Mum and asked if my baby was okay, but the Doctors answered for her and told me she will be fine. Was she though?

To distract me, Alexander looked into my eyes - he was crying. The doctor told me she had to cut me to help my baby come out, and she used a vacuum machine to pull my baby out as I was pushing. I didn't feel or even notice her doing all that. Alexander hugged me tight and told me how proud he was of me.

A baby's cry was heard at the other side of the room and relief rushed over me. She was okay. She was alive. But she was so small. The neonatal nurse wrapped up my baby, carried her over to me, and lay her in my arms; she was so beautiful, her eyes were huge. I thought I would be stitched up and be able to go back to the ward with my baby, but the neonatal nurse stood by my side and told me she wanted to take my baby to intensive care as she was grunting and pale white.

My baby was taken out of the room, Alexander and my Mum followed her.

I begged for a shower. I stumbled slowly to the shower room, walking with a nurse holding me up and taking me to the shower room. Only five minutes after giving birth I was already having a shower - how crazy was I? My legs were numb, my spine was killing, and I had to sit at an angle whilst showering. Blood drained from me and my stitches. I heard my Mum come back into my room and I opened to the door for her to help me get dried and dressed. 

I wanted to see my baby so I headed to the intensive care unit in a wheelchair...

Born: 5th April 2016, 5:42am
Weighing: exactly 5lbs
Total labour length: 3 hours 42 minutes

My labour was traumatic, but my baby was beautiful. I will be writing about Rhea-Jane's recovery in my next post, it will also be a long post as she was in hospital for a week. Thank you everyone for the love and support you gave me whilst both me and my baby recovered in hospital. 

Much love,

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