It only feels right that I share with you my birth story.
At 38 weeks and 2 days into my pregnancy I went to bed as normal and woke at 4.45am the next day, after dreaming that my waters had broken. When I woke… they had! I remember sitting on the toilet (realising that no, I had not wet myself) calming myself down, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning, I was so excited that this was it.
I woke my husband and we got everything ready to head to the hospital, due to the strep b and the added risk of infection to my son, we had to go straight away (via McDonalds of course! Who knows when I’d get the chance to eat! Plus, by now they are serving breakfast).
We headed to the hospital, with me perched on a towel. When we arrived we were sent to be monitored on a CTG machine, again I was happy with this. The midwife explained that if labour didn’t progress, they would want to induce me , this is something I wanted to avoid and give my body time to progress without intervention. The midwife agreed and left us for a few hours.
When she came back I agreed to a vaginal examination to see how I was progressing as tightening’s had been showing on the monitor however I was not in any discomfort. When she examined me, she was surprised to find I was 4cm dilated. So surprised in fact that she got a second opinion. During my exam she asked if I wanted a sweep.
She did and we went for lunch.
It was on a walk around the car park after lunch that we started timing the contractions, immediately the app we were using to time them told us to go to hospital. Once back on the ward I had some paracetamol, I have to say, I think I could have continued to manage the surges without anything but anxiety got the better of me briefly. The next couple of hours passed with Netflix and laughing at Katherine Ryan, bouncing on the birth ball to Sean Paul and I began using a tens machine – it turns out incorrectly – but hey, I had things on my mind.
At around 4pm I headed up to the delivery suite, I was examined again and was 6cm! I was elated, I had been preparing myself for no change, I didn’t want to feel discouraged. Once there I got my hands on some gas and air which helped me through some powerful and long surges. The lights were dimmed and I had some relaxing music playing. It’s important to me that you know that even in a hospital setting you can create a calm environment and you do have some control over the environment.
As surges got more intense I asked about additional pain relief and was offered remifentanil. I weighed up the pros and cons with my birth partner and decided to take this.
When I reached 10cm dilated my midwife advised that should I remain on the remifenanol I would not be able to get into the positions that we had discussed (I wanted to be kneeling over the back of the bed to allow gravity to help move my baby down) I also didn’t want to be coached to push I wanted to let my body deliver my baby. We made the decision that I would try delivering without the remifentanol and I could always decide to go back on it should I want to. I didn’t use it again, I carried on with the gas and air and...
My baby boy was delivered at 8.01pm the same day my waters broke. I didn’t actively push and my baby made his way into the world calmly. In fact he didn’t cry for a long time after he was born he was just looking around taking it all in. Oh! and guess what! He wasn't a whopper - 6lb 3.5oz! 'My Baby will be the perfect size for my body!'
Within hours I turned to my husband and said that I would do that again! I have never felt more empowered and like an absolute warrior!