If you haven't already read Part One regarding my child birth experience with Ellis, please follow the link here. Part Two will cover my most recent birth with my second son, Oliver. Now this birth is fresh in my mind...but then again, I don’t think I will ever forget my first birth either - it’s definitely etched in my brain!
Due to my first birth not being the standard “normal” birth, I really did not know what I was looking for the second time around. My first birth did not involve the generic contractions, or even timing them for that matter. So not the usual feeling of a sharp pain, realising it’s a contraction - and then deciding to time them blah, blah, blah scenario!
So when my “show” appeared, I really didn’t have a clue what it was. Thank goodness I have friends who are very much willing to see anything (and they are nurses - so they have seen most things). In the end, I actually sent them photos. I know, yuck right?! They told me what it was, and that it could mean labour was on the way. Whether that meant imminently or within the next few days, I really did not know.
So when I started to experience period type cramps over a Chinese with friends a day or two later, I kind of shrugged it off. Until later my friend asked if I was okay, then rapidly told my husband I was having contractions! DOH!
By the time your third trimester rolls around, you have had enough. But...I was only 34 weeks pregnant. I was on annual leave from work. I hadn’t even started my maternity leave! I was scared. My husband was petrified. But I think he was more concerned that I would give birth in the car on route to the hospital, more than anything else.
It was a very long and tiresome labour. Yet again, super human me, refused any form of pain relief at the start. But that super woman quickly disappeared, I was soon begging for an epidural, but it was too late. The midwife believed he was on his way. Sadly after three solid hours of pushing, Oliver still didn’t want to make an appearance...despite the fact that he could not wait to put me into early labour. The poor midwife, who I cannot praise enough, kept apologising to me for not letting me have an epidural. However, before I knew it there were three to four midwives in the room. I then had doctors come in too, who proceeded to shove consent forms in my hands to sign. The baby was in distress. I just couldn’t get him out...AGAIN!
In theatre, they gave me a spinal block in preparation for an emergency c-section. A spinal block is similar to an epidural, it is intended to numb you from the waist down. However, mine failed to work the first time. The anaesthetist told me in the 12 years of working in the hospital, he had never seen a spinal block fail, until meeting me. I was obviously trouble, so I was given a second. While this was happening, my poor old husband was sent into a room next door. He was told it would only be five minutes before he could join me in theatre.
Scarily, the two spinal blocks took nearly two hours to work. All my husband could hear were my screams. He was left wondering what on earth was happening. Eventually, the doctor said she would give forceps one go and if he still didn’t come, she would go straight into performing a c-section. This was so scary. After all, I really didn’t want a c-section. I had known friends that had to have them and from what I was told, the recovery time was long as well as painful. But needs must, and this little man was already at an increase of complications, let alone leaving him in distress any longer. And with that next contraction, he finally came...Oliver was born at 7:21pm on New Year’s Eve, 6 weeks early by forceps.
I later was told the real reason why he would never have been born without help. Unbeknownst to the midwives and doctors, Oliver’s umbilical cord was not long enough for him to descend. And so with every push, he would come down, only to go back up into the same position. The midwife described it almost as though it was a bungee cord, and that he as well as I were both fighting a loosing battle.
The relief was very short lived at this point. We were all so pleased. Congratulations were flying around the room, to both my husband and I. Yet Oliver did not cry, cough or even move for that matter. He was quickly handed over to the doctor. His lifeless body was grey...Fortunately, little Oliver made it through. He later spent time in special care. You can read further about his time spent in special care here.
One thing that I have learned from both labours and births is that you can plan, plan, plan, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. The advice I’d give is go with the flow. You can have a plan but know that things may change. Listen to your midwife, I absolutely loved mine. She listened to me, stuck up for me and was even there after her shift had ended. She truly was amazing.
Now I have two gorgeous, healthy, sometimes hard work boys. And you know what...I’d have my third tomorrow, if I could!
Follow my journey here @thehonestmotherofboys