Saturday, 10 June 2017

MEET ALICE - HER BIRTH STORY

She's here! Our little angel is here. Well she's actually been here four weeks but life with a newborn is CRAZY so i've only just got round to writing this! Before I start this post I would just like to apologise for the poor quality of photos. As you will soon read, everything happened at lightning speed and taking photos on a good camera was out of the question. They will always be the most treasured photos to me though.


So let's rewind to a few weeks ago, when I had a sweep on my due date and the midwife told me it was 'favourable'. I had thought being a first time mum and all that I would be days and days overdue, so I felt fairly positive when she wiggled her fingers around (ouch and also ew) and said my cervix was 50% effaced and I was a tiny bit dilated. (side note - be prepared for a sweep to be really uncomfortable. I hadn't planned for this and so was hit with a bit of a shock at the pain. Once I started my hypnobirth breathing it was soon manageable though). After the sweep, Jason and I went out for lunch and for a walk, well as much of a walk as I could manage - at this point my bump was so low and uncomfortable. I also walked up and down the stairs sideways, bounced on the ball and did all the other things the midwife suggested. The next day Jason went to work, and I tried to relax at home, although I was fed up that nothing had happened after the previous day's positivity.

The day after that, Jason worked from home and we went out for coffee in the morning, went shopping for some house bits and then the midwife came round for another sweep. I hadn't really been feeling much at that point. I think I was expecting harsh period pains but was experiencing what felt like mild wind! So I was a bit surprised when she told me I was 3cm dilated and she could feel the head and it was really low! Still not trying to get my hopes up, I carried on as normal. We went to see my parents, where my dad joked 'you're going to give birth tonight', and popped into waitrose for some dinner bits.I'm one of those people who doesn't like to get their hopes up, so that afternoon/evening when Jason kept asking me 'any contractions?' (he had an app and wanted to time them), i'd sort subconsciously play them down. This continued the whole evening. We ate dinner, and then watched a bit of titanic, during which I was having niggling little tightenings, but not really recording them (stupidly). Then at about 22:30 we decided to go upstairs and start getting ready for bed as we thought we may perhaps need rest as who knows what could happen. I got ready, lay down in the bed to watch a bit of Graham Norton and then 23:00 came and BAM...things went from about 1 on the pain scale to a solid 9. 

It felt like something kicked me inside and from 23:00 onwards it was all go. My contractions were suddenly long, strong and frequent and so so painful. The first thing I did was put my kneeling pad on the floor and bent over the bed with Jason rubbing my lower back. We tried to remember the hypnobirthing techniques and I used surge breathing, listened to the relaxing cd, doused a napkin in clary sage and deeply inhaled that. We knew that we needed to stay at home as long as possible as we didn't want to get sent home, but after about 40 minutes of agony bent over the bed, I wasn't really sure how much longer I could take. Jason called up and explained the situation and they said I could come in, but would probably have to be sent home. I was certain I didn't want this, so tried to bear the pain a little longer. Even in my state, I was still aware my hair needed a wash before we went into hospital, so I decided to have a shower and for Jason to wash my hair. This was the best decision ever! Sitting in the tub with the hot water trickling over my tummy and back felt amazing and it made coping with the contractions so much easier. Jason washed my hair, bless him, but by this point my contractions were coming every 2 minutes and lasting a long time. Side note - they had probably been bad enough to go into hospital at about 22:00 but as i've said...I must have been underplaying them so as to not get hopes up. He called up the hospital and we decided to go in, even though the midwife was saying we may still have to go home again. I remember saying to Jason 'I suppose if we do get sent home at least I get another shower'. Silver linings!

Things got very stressful getting ready to go to the hospital. I was in so much pain, and putting all my concentration into breathing through each contraction, that all I could do was stand there. I remember Jason looking so stressed trying to get the bags ready. Even though I had been super organised, there was still last minute things to pack like toothpaste, toothbrush and drinks etc. He poured a whole box of capri suns into the cool box, ran up the stairs about 50 times and all the while I stood in the hallway, bent over, with wet hair, practising my hypnobirth breathing. Our car is literally 5 steps from our front door but in that space I managed to have a contraction. By this point it was about 01:00 and I was well aware the neighbours could hear me. We got in the car, I sat on a towel incase my waters broke, and started on the most horrendous journey of my life! Seriously, thank GOODNESS it was late at night, I could not have handled traffic. 

Jason drove so slowly and smoothly as I was having a contraction every other minute, and I STILL (first time mum 'n all) didn't realise I was in the transition stage of labour. We eventually pulled into the hospital, left the car abandoned outside the front door and then...wait for it...had to buzz to be let in!!! I have honestly never been in such pain my whole life. After what felt like an hour, they buzzed us in and we walked down the corridor to the birthing unit. When I say walked I mean hobbled, as I was having contractions every few steps. When we got there they asked me to take a seat in the waiting room! Seriously!!!! They obviously were as oblivious as I was to how far along I was. I was in too much pain to sit down so stood in the corridor, bent over Jason with him rubbing my back. 

They eventually asked me to come into the room to be examined and asked me to take my bottoms off and lay down. I tried to explain to them (through grunts and moans) that it was too painful for me to lay flat, I needed to be bent over, but of course they insisted. They then disappeared out the room and I suddenly felt the biggest release...my waters broke! I've never seen so much fluid come from a human, it gushed all over the examination floor (nearly causing Jason to slip) and then I felt the urge to push! I think at this point I realised it was serious and I wasn't being a wuss. They came back in and the student midwife asked if I minded if she do the examination (even though I had in my notes that I was hypnobirthing and wanted as little people around as possible), I could hardly think straight to make a decision but I think I just sort of shook my head and waved my hand. I also remember begging them for pain relief. Up until this point I hadn't even had paracetamol, just some clary sage on a napkin HAH! Eventually she examined me and I was *drumroll please* 9 CM DILATED!!! (to me that didn't mean much, but throughout our time at hospital, different midwives kept saying, 'oh so you're the one that came in at 9cm?' and stuff like that. It made me feel a lot better and quite proud of myself!) A sense of urgency finally began and they quickly put me in a wheelchair and took me around to the room. I remember not caring at all that I was bottomless in the corridor, that we were having to stop every few seconds for a contraction, that I was grabbing random people's hands in the corridor just to squeeze onto them or even that I think I was pushing so hard I pooed myself in the wheelchair. We eventually got to the room and I saw there was no birthing pool, I sort of half spoke, half moaned 'pool?' and the midwife informed me there was no time. I remember all of the next 2 hours as clear as day and I felt every inch of it. *ouch* 

I stood up from the wheelchair, bent myself over the end of the bed and started pushing. There was anaesthetists asking me, 'morgan i'm going to put a cannula into your arm, is that ok?'. They have to ask your permission for everything in labour and it is so annoying as you're in too much pain to think. I probably grunted back as they were trying to find my vein to shove the needle in (I had to have it because I had strep B infection and needed antibiotics in labour). The sense of urgency was stepped up a notch when the anaesthetists were worrying they weren't going to have time to give me the double dosage before the baby was born. This was the only time I swore in the whole of the labour. I replied, 'what the f*** is a cannula!' and Jason laughed and explained. They gave me some gas and air, which I had literally 3 puffs on and then they lowered the bed so I could crawl onto it on all fours and be bent over the bed for birth. As I crawled onto the bed I must have knocked the pipe off and it was only after i'd given birth that the midwives realised that I was sucking the exhale pipe and was actually getting no pain relief the entire time! This made the bit you're about to read so so painful. The worst pain I have ever experienced. I remember thinking during it, 'I am NEVER doing this again'...and then a few minutes after she was born I said, 'I think next time it would be easier with some pain relief'. The reason they didn't notice is I was bent over the back of the bed and only Jason was up that end. The midwives were both focused on the other end! 

Because of the urgency, the fact I was 9cm at 01:30 and that they wouldn't fill up the pool, I assumed that she would be here very quickly. It actual fact it took 2 ours of solid pushing and it was flippin' awful. I remember them asking Jason if we knew the sex and him saying, 'no can I tell her', which made me think the baby was nearly here and push extra hard...I actually had another hour of pushing! I used the pipe (that I thought was giving me pain relief) as a sort of trumpet and when I exhaled I pushed really hard. They kept telling me to push more and then they actually told me to slow down! They said if I kept pushing so hard i'd tear...and I did...and I felt it. I also felt them putting warm tissue on my bum, we all know what that means! Luckily I couldn't see it. I remember asking Jason, 'how much longer?' over and over again, and just willing it to stop.

Eventually, I felt the most incredible release, and our baby was here! At 04:00 exactly our little one came into the world at 8lbs and 8oz. She was passed up through my legs and I instantly took my top off and held my baby against my chest. I remember this bit SO clearly. I held her little warm body against my skin and kept kissing her forehead. Neither one of us thought to check the sex. It was our baby! Our own little baby and we were so overwhelmed we sort of forgot! Eventually the midwife asked and I opened up her little legs and it was a girl!!! Our precious little girl. She didn't cry, she just stared up at me affectionately and I held her close. Jason cut the chord and then they asked me to turn over so they could stitch me up and deliver the placenta. I told him to take his top off and passed her to him and they had some skin to skin. I finally got some pain relief and could hardly feel the placenta or the stitches, it was wonderful! The midwives did what they needed to and then left us for an hour as a family. She was on my chest staring up at me, I was finally laying on my back and relaxing, and we were alone for the first time as a family. It was pure heaven. 

 At 04:07, 7 minutes after she was born. Staring up at me with her big blue eyes. That first look!

  
 
One hour old, and enjoying snuggles on my chest, which she still loves!


I was definitely in shock (I think I still am a little), and when I eventually had a shower and watched the blood pour into the drain I sobbed for the first and only time! I couldn't quite believe what i'd just gone through, and I'd skipped a whole night's sleep so was probably a bit delirious. Labour is tough, but also amazing and so so worth it. I'd do it all again just to have that feeling of holding them for the first time. For 9 months i'd grown and carried this little being and didn't know if it was a boy or a girl, and after 5 hours of labour I got to meet her at last. She was so perfect and gets a little more perfect each day. Welcome to the world Alice Ivy Brandon, we love every inch of you.  





1 comment:

  1. What a fab blog post! This has set me up - I'm expecting my first this December! xx

    ReplyDelete