I only recently looked at the video footage and photos that Phill took of me whilst in labour and I was inspired to put together my labour story video. My baby girl is six weeks old now and it feels as if she was always with me. She is of course my proudest achievement and I was so happy to be able to bring her into the world safe and sound, with the help and support of Phill and the midwife.
Rose was a very prompt baby, arriving on her due date on Wednesday 31 August. As births go, I believe I had a very straightforward labour. Yes it was the most painful experience of my life, but once my contractions became full on and I was in active labour, Rose arrived in just a few short hours.
Want more details? Watch the video and read on!
I’d been having nightly contractions for the past few days and at 3am I felt my waters break as I got out of bed to go to the toilet. There was no big gush of water, just a trickle (I later found out it was my fore waters that broke). I was concerned when I saw a lot of blood at this time so I called the hospital and they advised me to come in and get checked out. I quickly got dressed and was becoming increasingly dependent on the tens machine my friend had given me. It was really helping with the minor contractions I was having – which were now coming every 8-10minutes. Phill drove us to the hospital.
We arrived at the Royal Victoria Hospital maternity wing, and we were waiting just a short time until a nurse examined me. She was concerned about the extent of my blood loss and soon a doctor was checking me over. My contractions were starting to speed up and become closer together. I was told I was 2cm dilated and I’d be having our baby that day. The water birth I had intended to have would not be possible as they needed to monitor me and the baby throughout the labour.
Phill and I were brought up to the labour ward and shown into a room. This was just a holding room for us but we ended up staying here for longer than we thought. I was monitored and got some breakfast. Phill bought some snacks for us and a magazine for me to read but my contractions were becoming stronger and I didn’t have the ability to concentrate on reading!
We were moved to another room to wait. Again I was monitored. The baby was doing well and was in no sign of distress. Thankfully I was no longer bleeding heavily. I was given a hot dinner and bounced a bit on the maternity ball. I was still using my tens machine and it was really helping me cope with the pain of contractions.
I was finally shown into my official labour room. Things were about to get serious! I changed into a nightie and it was then that my hind waters were broke by the midwife. I was 5cm dilated at this point. Within minutes my contractions were coming thick and fast. The tens machine was no longer really helping me with the pain and the midwife gave me gas and air. I had intense lower back pain and whilst the gas and air helped a little, I was really struggling to cope. After an hour the midwife decided to examine me again and was taken aback to find I was 9cm dilated already (usually you go 1cm more every hour). It was then I consented to having more pain relief. I’d never known back pain like this. Whilst the baby’s head was down, her back was against my back (occiput posterior position), which I’ve since found out is one of the most painful birth positions!
It was time to push! I found the pushing to be alot more bearable than the actual back pain. I push for a long time on my back and I was making good progress. After a while the nurse put my feet in stirrups to see if it would help things along quicker. After an hour and 40 minutes of pushing, the baby was showing signs of distress. Whilst she was crowning, I’d been pushing for a very long time and the decision was taken that I would need a vacuum delivery.
Nurses arrived to give me an episiotomy and placed a small suction cup on Roses’ head. After some more pushing, it wasn’t long before my little baby was finally out. She was placed immediately on top of me for skin to skin contact.
It was a surreal moment! Rose was here! She was 5lb 12.5oz and totally perfect. In the next hour I was stitched up, baby Rose was checked over, and I breastfed her for the first time.
Once I had a shower I was shown to the maternity ward, where I would be staying overnight. Phill was heartbroken to be leaving us just a short time later. During the night I fed Rose and tried to get some sleep. In the early hours of the morning I noticed Rose was cold and when I alerted a midwife they stripped her and placed her on me for skin to skin contact. After an hour there was no improvement so they placed Rose in an incubator to warm up. Because of this we had to stay an extra night in hospital just so we could be sure Rose was ok.
Finally, on Friday 2 September, Rose and I were discharged from hospital and life as a family of three truly began! I’m happy to say Rose has been thriving ever since – gaining weight and successfully wrapping her mummy and daddy round her little finger 😉