This is an anonymous post kindly submitted by one of the parents in our RagHeroes Parent’s Group. All identifying details have been changed.
I had a normal healthy pregnancy and spent hours carefully writing out my birth plan with my partner (which nobody at the hospital bothered to read). My waters broke at 1am on a Sunday morning so I phoned the maternity ward and was told to go in to get checked over. We planned to have a water birth and were told all the way through my pregnancy that this would happen as they had never had a situation where they had had to turn someone down due to someone else using the pool. This was until we got there and was told the pool room was already in use because they were having a busy night!!!
I was 1cm dilated and my waters hadn’t totally came away, just the bit in front of the baby so I wasn’t in actual labour. I was devastated to think I was going to be sent home as I had already had one false alarm and desperately wanted to meet my little girl who was 5 days overdue. I wasn’t having any contractions yet but the midwife agreed to let me stay for four hours, would examine me again to see if I was dilating and if not I would be booked in to be induced on Monday morning.
The first few hours were pretty uneventful. I bounced on the birthing ball like I had been doing at home. I then started getting contractions and was moved into the nicer room (only because the midwife knew my partners sister and recognised him through Facebook photos!).
I was advised to go in the bath to soothe the pain and I apparently stayed in for over an hour before my mam and partner managed to persuade me to get out. This is where the real labour stuff starts, I stand up and vomit all down myself and in the bath causing the plug to block so I was standing in a bath full of vomit water. I was totally mortified but according to the midwife “it happens all the time” and meant I was going into active labour.
I got cleaned up again and put fresh nightclothes on only to vomit again and then my waters break fully before I had even managed to waddle over to the bed to be examined. I think I started crying at this point partly because I was in agony and partly because I was covered in my own bodily fluids. I thought nothing could be more undignified than this but how wrong I was. I was examined and was 7cm dilated woohoo! Get me on the gas and air! It really did help until the novelty wore off so as soon as I was offered diamorphine I said ‘yes’ – totally forgetting what I had read in the pregnancy books about the side effects, etc and that I had been totally against it.
This is where everything started to go fuzzy, it made me really drowsy and I kept falling asleep, I really have no idea how long this went on for. I remember the midwife saying I was 10cm dilated and needed to start pushing. I was so so tired I didn’t know how I was going to have the energy to push and realised my contractions had totally stopped so I started crying again, this is the point where I just wanted to cancel it all and go home. I was put on some drip which made them start up again. I was pushing for over an hour so the midwife called for the doctor for help. The doctor then called for an anesthesiologist to put another cannula in my other hand because everyone else was struggling to get a vein, don’t have a clue what that one was for because by now everything was just a blur. The doctor put my legs up in the stirrups and kept telling me to push harder and longer every time I felt a contraction, again I have no idea how long I was pushing for.
My mam was crying saying she could see the babies hair and my partner kept saying you can do it and how amazing I was. But no matter how hard I pushed this baby just didn’t seem to want to come. The doctor continued to tell me to push harder and longer and that I was wasting my time because I wasn’t doing it right because the head kept going back in. I felt like such a failure and apparently started shouting at the doctor for him to try push a ******* baby out. The next thing I know he’s got a needle in one hand and a pair of scissors in the other saying he’s going to have to cut me to get the baby out. I was shouting, “don’t let him cut me, I’ll try harder, I’ll do it right,” but he did it anyway and then within minutes I had my little girl in my arms at 1.45pm weighing 8lb 4oz.
I was given the injection in my leg to help the placenta out and thought that was it… it’s all over… I’ve done it. Then I started bleeding really heavily once the placenta came out and the midwife couldn’t stop it. I was given another injection in my leg and the midwife started rubbing my tummy to stop the bleeding. I had to hand my baby over to my mam as the bleeding wasn’t stopping and remember being so scared that something was seriously wrong. My partner kept asking the doctor why I was bleeding and was being ignored. The doctor started rubbing my tummy and eventually it did stop after I lost 1500ml of blood.
I later found out from another doctor that my baby was stuck because she was in a funny position and facing the wrong way so I would have never been able to push her out myself. The midwife was left to stitch me up and it seemed to take forever as by this point the diamorphine was wearing off so it was more painful than actually giving birth. I overhead the midwife saying the doctors cut was far too big and that’s why it took so long stitching me back up. I had to stay in hospital on a ward until the Tuesday as due to the blood loss I was anaemic and also needed antibiotics so I had another drip in both hands.
Trying to breast feed when I was attached to machines was such a struggle and I was obviously exhausted as well. I’d had a catheter inserted after giving birth and wasn’t allowed to get out of bed until the Monday in case I collapsed.
Even though I had an awful experience near the end of my labour I’ve got an amazing little girl out of it and it hasn’t put me off having another. She’s currently 7 months old and she was worth every second.