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Day: May 5, 2019

My Labour and Delivery With Baby Number Two

My Labour and Delivery With Baby Number Two

It’s been a whopping 7 months since I gave birth and in a typical, new-mum way, I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed! So finally, here’s what happened at the birth of Little B, our second baby boy.

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My due date, 20th September 2018, came and went.  Big B arrived six years ago at 41+5 Weeks, so it came as no real surprise that I was overdue again (despite friends, family and professionals thinking I’d be early!)  I started to second-guess every single ache or twinge after 40 weeks, but there were no signs of labour.  I was bouncing on the birthing ball regularly and ate a vindaloo among other labour-inducing myths, but it started nothing.  This baby had set up camp and wasn’t moving without a fight!

Last Antenatal Appointments & Failed Sweeps

At 40+4 weeks, I had a failed sweep at my checkup with the midwife.  My cervix hadn’t come forward enough yet for her to reach properly, despite the fact baby had been head down for months and she could feel around it. My body just wasn’t quite ready to give birth!  She made an appointment for a few days later before I was booked in to be induced, where another midwife would try for a sweep again.

…this time, she had concerns about his heartbeat

My 41 week checkup was possibly the worst day of my pregnancy. Before the midwife could try for another sweep, she did a routine check of my blood pressure and listened to baby’s heartbeat, which we’d never had any issues with previously. Except this time, she had concerns about his heartbeat, as she believed it was too fast, for too long.  The sweep wasn’t performed and she sent me straight to hospital, where they could monitor baby properly, for longer.

Crying is how I deal with things, so how I held it together while I got dressed and left the room, I don’t know.  I burst into tears on the phone to my husband when I explained what was happening, before my dad took me to triage.  In the end, I was kept in for an hour or two and we were both fine.  It was put down to the midwife misreading his accelerated heartbeat as his resting heartbeat, as he’d been wriggling about so vigourously.  I’d rather be safe than sorry of course, but a mixture of hormones and worry made me fear the worst that afternoon.

Going to the hospital

On the morning of 2nd October, I rang the hospital as advised, to check when I should come in for my induction.  The midwife I spoke to informed me that if I was low-risk (which I was), they’d be able to offer me an outpatient induction; I’d be given the pessary, sent home and come back in 24hrs (or sooner if it worked and I started contracting.)  That was news to me, as I thought I’d be staying in hospital waiting around, which I didn’t want to do if I could avoid it.

I took my hospital bags just in case though; and it’s a good thing I did, because I wouldn’t be leaving until I had my baby!

We got to the hospital at 10am and once again, we were both monitored.  There were concerns this time about my blood pressure (which had been fine throughout my pregnancy) and baby’s heartbeat again.  By lunchtime,  I had an IV of fluid to see if that would help us both.  That is, once they could find my vein! Two midwives tried and failed to put the cannula in the back of both hands and one of my arms, before a doctor managed to put it in the other. I honestly think a cannula hurts more than the epidural I had with my first baby!

I started to get a little emotional as I just wanted our baby to be okay and I was anxious about the unknown.  Everything was pointing towards having a caesarean, which I had wanted to avoid if possible.  The midwives and all the medical staff who saw us were lovely, but every time one particular midwife came to look at my trace, she’d shake her head and tell me, “This is really not good”, in the most unassuring way and didn’t expand on what she had seen. They are not the words a hormonal, anxious and overdue mum wants to hear! The doctor who inserted my cannula was reassuring though, as she saw the baby move around a lot and told me that an angry baby who’s not okay, doesn’t move like that.

I was essentially tethered to the bed because of the IV and the CTG machine that was monitoring us both and started to get constant backache, which would ease on the odd occasion where I was allowed to move around.

I’d wanted a relaxing labour and a water birth in the Birth Centre which was looking less and less likely as time went on

Induction

A delivery suite became available at 1:30pm and we were taken down there, despite me not yet being induced or in labour.  The machines they had down there meant I could be monitored for longer periods of time.  I’d wanted a relaxing labour and a water birth in the Birth Centre which was looking less and less likely as time went on, but I was happy to see a birthing pool in my delivery suite when we arrived.  I was given a hospital gown and lovely stockings to put on and hadn’t been allowed to eat or drink. No one ever came out and said that it was in case I needed to go to theatre, but they hinted at it a lot.

My blood pressure had come down and baby’s heartbeat was levelling out, slowly but surely.  It seemed like he was most comfortable when I was on my back, which was, of course, the most uncomfortable position for me, because of the backache!  Another doctor came along 45 minutes later and he tried to break my waters, but he was unsuccessful as I was only 1cm dilated.

By 4pm, I was really bored and uncomfortable.  I asked the midwife to take me off the machines just so I could go to the toilet, even though I didn’t need to go.  It just meant I could walk around and stretch my legs for a bit!  My blood pressure and little one’s heartbeat were looking much better now, so at 4:30pm, after over six hours in hospital, I was finally given the pessary to hopefully induce labour. We were still being monitored, in case either of our stats accelerated again, but after about an hour I was taken off and free to roam around.

Thank. God.

Contractions

Slowly but surely, the pain in my back started to get worse and I realised it was contractions I’d been having this whole time.  That was where they started with Big B too, so I suppose I should have known, but they really were nothing more than backache at first.  There’s no doubt that the pessary (and the failed breaking of my waters) accelerated my labour though!

A few midwives came in over the next few hours, but no one seemed to confirm I was having contractions, as I’d had the pessary in for hardly any time at all.  They had no concerns nor did they want to examine me at this point. The doctor I saw said hopefully we’d see baby that night, if not in the morning, so it felt like there was still a long wait ahead of us. I was able to speak through the contractions and breathe through the pain. The room was very warm though and I started to feel faint and queasy at one point, so I urged my husband to go and get a midwife to get me something to throw up into. He arrived with a bedpan just in time! My body cleared itself out like this for labour the first time around too, but I don’t think the heat and my empty stomach helped things either.

It was now around 6:30pm and I hadn’t eaten since before arriving at the hospital that the morning, so my husband went to get us both some dinner, as I was finally allowed to eat! He came back with a sandwich, crisps and a millionaires shortbread. I had half a sandwich and a few crisps, but they didn’t stay down for long either.

Gross.

I spent most of my time perched sitting on the side of the bed and rotating my hips constantly. I hadn’t done any hypnobirthing classes or courses, but I’d picked up a few techniques from others over time and remembered the breathing I did during early labour with my first born. I’d close my eyes every time a contraction started and concentrate on simply breathing in and out. I imagined the pain as a mountain I was climbing and the peak was getting further and further away, as the contractions got stronger; but once I heat the peak of the mountain and the pain, I knew there was no other way but down and the contraction would subside for a minute or two. I focused all my energy into managing my pain, so I didn’t make a peep of noise.

I was becoming more and more uncomfortable though, so I asked her if I could have gas and air, to which she laughed

It was now 8:30pm and by this time, my husband was timing my contractions using an app on my phone. They were lasting around 45 seconds and coming every two minutes, which the midwife was aware of when she came in to see how we were, but I don’t think she had any concerns as I wasn’t being very vocal and contractions can be close together when you’ve been induced, even if you’re not dilated. I was becoming more and more uncomfortable though, so I asked her if I could have gas and air, to which she laughed and told me that I could have that when I was in labour. I was absolutely horrified when she left the room and I told my husband I couldn’t do it if this wasn’t labour already. I seriously considered an epidural again, even though it went against everything I’d wanted for this birth experience.

I accepted her offer of cocodamol, even though I knew it wouldn’t touch the sides! At that moment, something was better than nothing. I just wanted the damn drugs.

Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure if it was a baby or a poo, but something felt like it needed to come out!

20 minutes later, I was still sitting on the edge of the bed, circling my hips, when I realised things felt different. It felt like I needed to push. Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure if it was a baby or a poo, but something felt like it needed to come out! With Big B six years earlier, I’d already had an epidural by this point, so I didn’t know just how strong contractions could get towards the end nor did I know what it felt like when you needed to push.

We were alone in the delivery suite, so I asked my husband to get the midwife and let her know how I was feeling. He was quite nonchalant about it, as was the midwife; and I don’t blame them, as I’d only had contractions for a few hours. I was quiet. I wasn’t screaming or complaining. She finished her paperwork and came in a few minutes later to examine me. As I stood up to sit on the bed, there was an almighty gush and my waters broke all over the floor!

It released some pressure, but now it felt like baby’s head was so low down I couldn’t close my legs or move. I had been so focused and in control of my body, but I felt like I lost that a bit at that moment, as I knew he was coming and I wasn’t prepared for it to be happening at this point.

The midwife told me I had to get on the bed, but I kept telling her I couldn’t do it. I could hear the urgency in her voice and my husband’s too and I somehow go myself onto the bed on all fours. I don’t remember it, but I’m told it was at this point, she hit an emergency button and shouted for a delivery pack. I got myself on to my back and my husband told me they could see our boy’s head and he had lots of hair. I couldn’t believe he was suddenly almost here!

I was pushing for just a few minutes and then at 9:02pm, our little baby boy was here. I’d done it. I’d given birth, with no epidural as I’d wanted! I’d delivered on my back on a bed, rather than in a pool as I’d hoped for, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Had I been examined and told how much I was dilated, I’m almost certain I would have panicked and taken more pain relief. I certainly would have taken the gas and air at the very least! It was mind over matter though and because I thought I was only half way or so, the pain seemed more manageable as I thought there was worse to come. As it turns out there wasn’t!

I had lovely cuddles with my baby and quite frankly got off my tits on gas and air while she stitched me up, in places I didn’t know you could tear or graze, to be quite honest. That first wee did sting like a bitch, but the long hot shower I had after was the best, especially as I’d never been allowed a shower the first time around with my epidural with Big B! My husband fed me the millionaires shortbread I’d not got around to eating earlier, while I squeezed my warm, little, wrinkly baby, before we were taken to the postnatal ward at 11pm.

I had tea and toast, while Ashley settled us for the night and went home to get some sleep himself. I didn’t sleep a wink that night, even though I could have; I just stared at Little B and cuddled him until the morning!