Charles Jonathan: Birth Story.

Due date 14/06/09 (written August 1st 2009)

Thursday 11th June: Had been having period pains (in my back) for exactly 2 weeks and had a show a couple of times this week. At around 11 o clock I had a sharp pain in my lower back, we were in the nursery, Jonathan was sitting on the futon and I was sorting through clothes, the pain was so bad that I could only get comfy by being on all fours, within 3 minutes the pain was gone. Period pains continued though.

Friday 12th June: Period pains continued. Had a few more strong back pains so phoned hospital in the afternoon to see what they thought. Was told to time the back pains and phone back. After trying to time them all afternoon and evening and having no luck I phoned the hospital at 9pm and was told that it was just usual pregnancy back ache and “niggles”. I got off the phone quick and was in tears as I knew these weren’t just niggles.

Saturday 13th June: due date weekend. Pains were on and off, knew I was definitely in early labour. Didn’t bother phoning midwife or CDS as I knew it could go on for a couple of days. Back ache/period pains became quite intense and were constant so I put on my TENS machine but kept it really low because I didn’t want to miss out on contractions. The TENS wasn’t helping 100% and because I didn’t want to turn it up I decided to try a hot water bottle instead. At 11 o clock I had a bath and went to bed at 12, and wore the TENS to bed in the end.

Sunday 14th June: Woke up at 4am because I was so uncomfortable, still had TENS on, watched TV and went on the internet. Come 8 o clock the pains were getting worse so I woke Jonathan up saying I wasn’t sure if something was happening but I might need to get checked at hospital….although he had to force me to call them as I kept trying to convince myself that the pains would pass. At 8.30 I phoned them and was told to go in as soon as I could and to take my labour bag just incase, the bags had been ready for 6/7 weeks and in the car for 3 weeks so we were prepared. I had a bath before we went and told Jonathan to have some breakfast just incase we were there for a while, I didn’t expect to be going in and having the baby, I thought I just had a kidney infection!
At 9.30 we left ours, I had the TENS machine on again as the pains were still bad. Got to Oulton Broad and the bridge was up…we have only ever seen that bridge up once in the last 2 years, we went round the block and saw the bridge was going down so carried on going that way, got over the bridge and down towards the train station when Jonathan realised he forgot his wallet! So we had to turn round and go back home to get his wallet, the pains were starting to get more intense but I didn’t want to panic Jonathan so discreetly turned up the TENS machine, but again not too high because I wanted to save it for when contractions/labour pains started (little did I know this is what I was having!) Eventually we got to the hospital, didn’t take too long with it being a Sunday and we were in the Delivery Suite by 10 o clock. As much as I wanted to walk to the Delivery Suite I couldn’t as I felt something very very round and low down in my pelvis-despite the fact the head had been fully engaged for 2 weeks this was now so low that I was struggling to sit down. Got taken to my room and talked to the midwife for a while, then got on the bed and still spoke to her and she said she’d examine me and see what was going on.
This was when she then told me I was 8cm dilated and would be having the baby today!! I asked how long approximately it would be and she said ‘within 3 hours’!! She went out and got the registrar because she wanted to scan me to check that the baby wasn’t breech (yawn! I’d been told this the whole time during the pregnancy even though I knew he was definitely head down)
As the registrar scanned me I started to cry because it became real, and he confirmed that the head was well into my pelvis (so engaged which was why she couldn’t feel anything!)
I was then strapped up to the CTG monitor and was offered the gas and air. Straight away I said right heres my birth plan and asked if the birthing pool was free because I really wanted a water birth. Luckily it was and they started to run it straight away. I was so happy and couldn’t believe that so far everything was going exactly how I wanted it to…due date baby, labouring as much as I can at home-although didn’t expect it to be so much ha!, and now the waterbirth!! The midwives briefly left the room which gave me and Jonathan the chance to quickly talk about what was happening (meeting our baby today!!) and a chance for him to take my ‘in labour photo’, ha!
Midwives came back in and said I was having very regular contractions, very close together, I was so caught in the moment that I didn’t even feel them, eventually I did and was shocked as I thought they were supposed to be painful.
The midwives were having a conversation with Jonathan about his job as one of them was listening to him on Heart the day before, I felt a contraction coming but didn't want to tell anyone or take in any gas and air because I didn't want to interupt their conversation, so I held off as long as I could and then when I couldn't take it anymore I said 'right can we get back to me please', the student midwife counted down the contraction and once it had finished I said 'right as you were, sorry for interupting'. Luckily one of my pain relief ideas was distraction.
Within 20 minutes the pool was ready, it was now around 12 o clock. So off we went into the pool, just before I got in the rest of my mucus plug came out. Getting into the pool felt relaxing, although as it was a funny shape and had no handles it was difficult to get a good comfy position and Jonathan had to hold my arms to stop me sinking into the water when a contraction came. The (amazing) student midwife was supporting me throughout the contractions and counting down, to the end of it, at the end of every contraction I would get back into a conversation with the midwives, it was as if nothing was happening. I told them to go for a break if they needed to as I didn't want them to miss a break because of me and told them to go and get a drink if needed. I also kept apologising for the gas and air because it was making me feel drunk and I felt naughty! ha! Also at one point I was saying 'its running out, its running out, theres no more left' The midwives kept saying 'yes there is you're fine'...they thought I meant contractions but I meant the gas and air and I was right, there was no more left! So I had a few contractions without the gas and air. During one of the contractions I had an involuntary push, which really freaked me out and made me realise that this was really happening. During one of the pushes I felt something happen, kept my eyes shut and shouted ‘What the F was that?!’, at first I thought wow the baby has come out and it didn’t hurt at all, this is too easy!...but my waters had gone.
Not long after this the midwife asked if I wanted to carry on with the gas and air and I said no, I want to try the rest without it and I'm glad I did.
I was starting to get tired due to having to struggle to keep myself above the water and nearly fell asleep, I heard the senior midwife say that I may need to get out of the water and go for a walk to get myself going again, so I opened my eyes and got a surge of energy and said ‘right I'm doing this’ Got myself into a different position, on my knees leaning on the knees and pushed as much as I could with each contraction. As the baby started to crown I was shouting ‘grab him grab him, pull him out’ because it felt as if his head was out, when infact it wasn’t...and due to it being in the water they couldn't touch him until he was "fully" delivered anyway. Then I took a deep breath as I felt a contraction come and in my head said ‘right lets do this’ and pushed as hard as I could, hearing the excitement from the midwives and Jonathan I knew I’d done it and was nearly there and then his head was out :-D and although it hurt it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Then with my next contraction (at 12.41pm) I pushed the rest if him out. The midwives had told me that he would come up towards me which he hadn’t so I turned round, sat down and was handed him. I couldn’t believe there was now a baby in the water with me and all I kept saying was ‘is he mine? Is he mine?’ and checked that we definitely had a boy.
I had a quick bit of skin to skin with him and we were then told that he had to be taken out of the water and given some oxygen as he wasn’t breathing properly so Jonathan cut the cord and he was taken away, I told Jonathan to go with him which he did and I was left in the pool talking to the student midwife. The other midwife then came in and got me out of the water as they were worried about my blood loss, as I stood up she told me to try and deliver the placenta, I wasn’t having any contractions but was able to eventually push it out, which felt more difficult than delivering the baby. I was amazed at how big the placenta was. As I left the room and was put on the bed I turned round and saw a baby on a little bed with midwives around him and then I heard him start crying, Jonathan then said ‘he’s ok, that’s our baby crying’.
I was then taken to my room so I could be checked as I was bleeding heavily, they needed to check if the bleeding was a tear or something else. I had to be put on a drip because most of the bleeding was due to my Uterus not contracting back down so the valves were still open and letting blood in. I had a 2nd degree tear which was stitched, I was given the baby whilst I was being stitched, had some more skin to skin and then asked for him to go to his daddy because I wasn’t able to relax.
Although when he was handed to me I couldn’t believe how gorgeous he was and I fell deeply in love with him.
The registrar who was stitching me was the same one who scanned me and kept saying he was shocked at how quick everything had happened as he’d only scanned me an hour before. He was sure I’d had children before even though I assured him I hadn’t.
Eventually we were allowed home after seeing another registrar at 11pm. He said that due to the heavy blood loss (which I didn’t realise about until he mentioned it) that I was to go back to CDS if I felt ill.
At first we said we didn't want student midwives etc at the birth but changed our minds later on and I'm so glad we did because this was the first waterbirth the student midwife had delivered which she was so happy, excited and thankful for so it made the experience even better.
Overall I had a fantastic and amazing experience and would love to do it all again. It was perfect and went exactly to my birth plan. My husband was the most fantastic birthing partner, very supportive, encouraging and positive throughout.

I can’t wait to go through it again…..in around 3-4 years time!
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