After writing down MM’s birth story, I thought it was only fair to finally post Munch’s. A few people asked what had happened with this birth, as I’d referred to it a few times in MM’s story. This was something I wrote shortly after Munch’s birth, but never posted it on the blog until now.
I was terrified of giving birth…petrified in fact. I was never one who wanted the ‘Blue Peter’ badge of doing it without pain relief or doing it naturally. I was quite prepared to take anything and everything to get baby out safely and as pain free as possible, that was enough for me.
Having suffered with SPD, I was admitted at 37 weeks for an induction. I spent the morning of my induction doing all the things expectant mother don’t get the chance to do (or particularly care about!). I washed and dried my hair, saw to my nails etc. It also gave me time to reflect that I was going to be a mummy soon.
At 1pm I got the call to go down early and be induced. I called my hubby to rush home and collect a few things. Sitting on the ward waiting for him, I couldn’t ignore the screams and groans of people on either side of me who were at various stages of their induction. I wondered what I let myself in for! The midwife came and explained the procedure. They would insert a pessary and wait 24 hours for it to take effect.
Procedure done and the screams intensifying to my right, I overheard the woman being told she was 6cm and would have to wait for a bed to become available on the labour ward. That didn’t help my fear one bit…there was no gas and air on this ward and she was clearly not having a great time.
By 2pm I started to feel the odd pain. I remember feeling like I needed the loo, but having hobbled to the toilet nothing would happen. By the time 3pm came, I had buzzed the midwife 3 times in complete agony. I wasn’t monitoring the pain, as it was constant and anyway, I was told it would take up to 24hrs to take effect. My only offer of pain relief was paracetamol…I panicked as there was no way I could go through a day or more of this! I thought back to the birth stories I’d read and everything I had ever been told and the common line of ‘I got some sleep between contractions’. I tried as best I could, but there didn’t seem to be a gap at all.
By the 4th visit, the midwife agreed to give me half a dose of morphine (good stuff!). I could tell she was sick fed up of my constant buzzing. Her face pretty much spelled ‘man up’. Even hubby was beginning to lose his patience with me.
With the morphine in me, I felt a bit spaced out. I got into a zone, stared at the ceiling and just breathed. I vaguely remember the dinner trolley coming round and thinking ‘how on earth do people eat in this pain’. The woman on my right was walking up and down the ward for crying out loud. It was official, I now felt like such a wimp!
It was then I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore. I grabbed hubby’s arm saying ‘buzz her again’. By this time I thought I was going to get chucked out for being a nuisance! The midwife appeared and offered to check me even though ‘there was no point because it takes up to 24 hours’. I just thought ‘please, please let me have progressed just 1cm.’ The midwife just said ‘oh. That almost never happens.’ It turned out I was 9cm and not such a wimp after all!
A wheelchair appeared and somehow I managed to get in it. Dignity out the window, I got wheeled quickly through the hospital corridors to the labour suite. Leaving the poor woman, who was waiting for a room, behind on the ward.
All I could say to the labour midwife was ‘epidural’. If I was doing this, I needed everything that was on offer. I was quickly told that it was too late. What?! ‘What can I have then?’ I was offered gas and air. This wasn’t what I planned at all. I wasn’t the ‘earth mother, full natural experience’ type. I was the ‘just get baby out, as painless as possible please and clean baby first before handing him/her over’ type.
The labour midwife examined me and told me that I’d be having this baby in half an hour! Gas and air it is then. I quickly refocused. No amount of begging or whining was going to change this. I made a few calls (why, I don’t know) and started living off the gas and air. It made it much more manageable. I ticked contractions off my list, now I feared the pain of giving birth.
Time seemed to just evaporate. I used to watch ‘One Born Every Minute’ and see people pushing for hours and wondering how they managed for so long. In reality I just don’t know where the time went. Thirty minutes came and went.
A quick midwife swap (and a group hug for morale) I was told I was allowed to push. I gingerly pushed for the first time. Not quite knowing exactly how to push! Hubby was ‘water boy’. In between each push it was drink, lip balm and cooling spray on the face. I kept hearing the phrase ‘this baby will be here in half an hour’. Where have I heard that before?!
Time check. A few hours had passed, how did that happen? My parents arrived. Dad waited outside whilst mum braved the labour room. Full squad, I kept to the routine of push, water, lip balm and spray. I was allowed to keep the gas and air the whole time (thank goodness!)
The midwife finally said they could see the head. Not believing it one bit, I sent hubby and mum down for a look (again something that wasn’t on my wish list). The confirmation gave me a surge of confidence. By now my body had taken over. It had put the end to my ‘gingerly pushing’. I was going to do this. Even with my now proper attempts at pushing, nothing seemed to be happening. A Sister appeared in the room and I could hear discussions going on. Mention of forceps was enough to add extra power to my pushing. I was given some local anesthetic for a cut and one massive push later the head had arrived. Turned out there was an arm up at baby’s face. I just had to wait for one last contraction and I’d be a mummy.
It was an amazing feeling of relief when that last push delivered my baby at 9.46pm. It was a girl (I’d always thought I’d have a boy). All plans of our baby being cleaned before being passed were thrown out the window, as she was instantly passed up. We looked at each other and I remember thinking ‘I don’t know how to be a mummy’ and having a bit of an internal eek moment.
But the pain that I thought was over hadn’t stopped. There was still the placenta to deliver. I just thought that it would come out and I wouldn’t notice in my newfound euphoric state. But as the contractions continued, I passed baby over to hubby in return for more gas and air. Whilst hubby got christened by a first wee, I heard the student midwife in hushed tones with the Sister. My mum had vanished from the room. I was told that they had snapped the cord and I was now bleeding quite a bit. More people appeared in green scrubs and before I knew it I was being wheeled through to surgery.
I was scared. I had no idea what was happening. They tried to explain to me what was happening but I was to out of it to understand. All I knew was the placenta was stuck and they had to remove it quickly. I was given a spinal block. Great, all that pain just faded away. Now I could relax, enjoy the concoction of drugs I’d been given. Baby is out and has 10 fingers and 10 toes, all is good. I was wrong. Apparently this bit wasn’t normal. I could even sense uncertainty in the surgeons’ voice as she struggled to piece the placenta together. I quickly felt weak. It was like a moment from ER, doctors shouting at me to stay awake. I thought that was it, that I wasn’t going to get to spend any time with the baby we’d had a pretty tough journey to meet.
I remember looking at the clock. I’d been in there for over an hour, yet it felt like minutes. I was finally reunited with my new little family just before midnight. I came back to a bit of a rush…we had written a few name choices on a piece of paper and we decided on Olivia Rose Ella Miller.
I had missed everything…the weigh in and her first bottle. She was 8lb 1oz and perfect in every way. We were placed in a recovery room overnight with 2 other ladies (who didn’t have their babies…not sure why). I remember lying there, alone whilst everyone went home. I was scared, tired and unable to move. I was told the nurses would look after baby whilst I rested. I heard one of them loudly proclaim ‘why should I look after her baby because she can’t be bothered?’…something that every petrified new mother wants to hear. That night I cried myself to sleep before waking up at 5am and crying again until hubby could rejoin us at 7am.
It was now, some 10hrs later, I got a proper hold and fed her for the first time. I just couldn’t believe she was finally here.
We spent 3 nights in hospital before we could go home due to my blood transfusion (I’d lost 5 pints). But when we got there it was amazing. The start of our life together.
As it turned out, they hadn’t got the entire placenta out. This saw a return trip to hospital and overnight stay 2 weeks later. My first night away from Olivia sooner than I imagined. I discharged myself the following day on the promise that I’d come back in for a scan a few days later.
Finally, I was able to get on with learning how to be a mummy and looking after our gorgeous little girl.