|Hello my little boy
||[Jan. 5th, 2008|04:00 am]
The #1 Pregnant Community
I had my son on the 30th of December at 40 weeks 3 days gestation. He was born at home, in the water and weighed 3.670 kg (8 pounds 1 ounce) . I had a mostly chilled out 16 hour labour assisted by my husband and an Independent Midwife.|
A note about Independent Midwives for ladies who live in the UK and may not know that they are out there:
Having grown increasingly frightened by the fact that my GP was crap, and the hospital kept losing my referrals and I was due between Christmas and New Year I decided to look into alternatives to NHS midwives and I came across Independent Midwives. Hiring one has been one of the best decisions I made. Basically the service Independent Midwives offer is to look after all your antenatal care, all your labour and then do postnatal care as well (my midwife visits everyday for the first week after the baby's birth to check on our progress and answer any questions or concerns). This has been absolutely brilliant since this is my first baby and both my husband and I have been completely clueless.
I loved having my antenatal care done by one person (who was also going to be the person who looked after me in labour) to have an opportunity to really develop a relationship with her and discuss any fears/concerns. It wasn't cheap (£3, 800 for the whole package) especially during an incredibly financially stressful year but we could pay in installments and even though it's meant going without on some other fronts it's been totally worth it.
THere are loads of independent midwives, the one who looked after me was Nyree Wright from Sage Femme and I cannot reccomend her highly enough.
If anyone wants more detailed information about Independent Midwives please feel free to email me at email@example.com and I'll reply at some point when my baby sleeps. ;)
The other thing I invested in was going on a Hypnobirthing course. I am so glad I did this as well because the techniques and tips we learned there helped make my labour a chilled out and manageable one.
Although the baby's head had been about 2/5 down in the pelvis since week 37 I had absolutely no other signs of imminent labour right up until I woke up at 1am on Sunday the 30th (having slept for only two hours, doh!) with strong, regular contractions 4 minutes apart. To be honest I had been expecting labour to start itself off more slowly and that I'd be able to drift off between contractions in the latent phase but no, it was all systems go from the beginning.
Going to the loo I saw the mucous plug and then commenced the next two hours of abdominal one-upmanship in cramps between my uterus and my intestines necessitating about 20 trips to the loo. On the upside this completely emptied my system out so no poop during labour!
I phoned the midwife and she said she would be around in a few hours.
I spent the hours between 2am and 7am (when the midwife came) continuing to have contractions 3 or 4 minutes apart. Sleep was completely out of the question. So was lying down. The most comfortable position was kneeling and rocking. I told my husband to sleep and get all the rest he could and I passed the time watching some films and relaxing and breathing through the contractions. By 4am they had amped up a notch and I started to feel like I needed some help. The TENS machine came out (and it felt SOOOO GOOOOOD) so I amped it up and danced with my husband. We rocked together and I leaned into him when a contraction hit. Even though I was aware of it as being physically intense I was also quite detached from the pain (thanks to Hypnobirthing I think!) just focusing on breathing and relaxing, dancing and singing through the surges.
By 6am I could feel things intensifying once again so my husband set up the birth pool. I amped up the TENS and kept on with the rocking/singing thing.
At 7am Nyree came. Everyone's heart beats and my pulse and blood pressure were fine and when she checked me I was 5cm dilated so we started the process of filling up the birth pool (which took a while and involved boiling some pans of water on the stove to top it up). THe most intense part of my labour sensations was becoming a persistent ache in my hips but as long as I kept moving around and breathing the contractions were still perfectly OK.
I had suffered from bad pelvic pain due to Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction from about the 25th week of pregnancy, and I think the hip issues were a part of that so I was especially keen to deliver in water and getting into that birth pool was HEAVEN. The pain was immediately reduced by 40 percent. I just chilled out in the water drinking water and sweet juice (I could not handle any food AT ALL) just breathing and relaxing and singing along to the playlist I had made on my computer. The contractions kept on being intense and manageable (about 3 minutes apart). When the midwife checked me next at noon I was 7cm dilated (respectable, but not as fast as I liked) and the ache in my hips had kicked up a notch as well.
I spent the next hour labouring in water surfing through more and more intense waves of contractions but trying to rest in between them (sleep was out of the question, but because I was quite deeply relaxed I was managing to get rested in the few minutes between the uterine surges). The pool was great because I had so much mobility and as soon as a contraction hit I could hang on to its sides and rock and move around.
I could feel things getting more and more intense however and I was starting to tire and get the shakes and the first feelings of doubt about the process. I asked Nyree to check me at 1pm and when I found out I was still at 7 cm I suffered something of a psychological crash. She offered to rupture the watersac and although this immediately caused my cervix to open up to 8cm I had completely lost my groove because of the hip pain that was at this point KILLING ME. It felt like someone was alternatively driving a drill into my joints and pouring acid into them.
I got back into the pool but I was losing it, shaking and crying and really not coping. I asked for gas and air, and even though it helped to relax me a bit I was still not denting the hip pain at all and I just couldn't take it. I got out of the pool and walked around howling and casting myself on pieces of furniture but the hip pain had kind of filled up my world and I just couldn't take it. I had serious doubts about my ability to have this baby because progress felt so slow and the pain so intense so I wanted to transfer into hospital for proper pain relief.
Even though I was at 9cm, I felt like I couldn't take much more. Hot compresses didn't really help, entonox had no effect although a painkiller pill that takes about 20 mins to work did finally kick in and make a dent. I was still kind of waily and insane at that point but as soon as the hip pain became more manageable I started to feel an intense need to push. Nyree asked me to hang off because I still wasn't fully dilated but when I couldn't then to just go with the body anyway. I got back into the birth pool and began breathing my baby down (a gentle HypnoBirthing version of pushing).
Pushing was actually the easiest part of my labour. Pushing was fun! Pushing was finally when my hip pain receded and I could focus on being an active participant instead of simply breathing and trying to relax. The birth pool was amazing because I could push from so many different positions (including squat) that would have been impossible for me on dry land thanks to my tiredness and pelvic pain.
Pushing was intense but completely manageable. I hung onto my husband and just breathed down with each contraction. I have never in my life been so intense and focused and it helped that I could feel the progress of my baby's head and feel it at the bottom of the birth canal very near to crowning. The pushing was slow and very gentle although at the end of two hours I decided to amp it up a gear a bit and do a more forceful version.
The baby's head started to crown and it buuuurrrnnnneeeed. I could feel my body stretching around the baby's head and two more pushes delivered it. After that the body slid out in one smooth go on the next contraction. My son slipped from me into the water smoothly as a fish. I lifted him out and held him to my skin. He was crying. My husband was crying. I was just shaking with adrenaline and elation and aside from the stinging of my lady parts I felt great. I couldn't believe how beautiful my baby was or how much I loved him.
Reaching down I could feel the tear in my vagina but at that point I was really beyond caring. The midwives cut the cord when it stopped pulsing and a few minutes later I started to feel the next round of contractions and delivered the placenta. At that point I also started to haemorrhage and the birth pool turned into a bloodbath.
The midwives gave the baby to my husband and fished me out of the pool to try and assess the damage. I had two tears and I kept bleeding so an ambulance transfer to hospital was the way it swung. The ambulance crew were brilliant and so were the people in the hospital who patched me up. Within half an hour I had been sewn up and hooked up to a bag of fluids.
My husband arrived and stayed with the baby and me until we were transferred onto the postnatal ward. I was still bleeding quite heavily (queue dramatic fainting while on the way to the loo!) but both the baby and me were fairly chilled out and doing well. I could not believe I had a son. We spent his first night on earth learning our way with each other and being surreal. I also spent it wishing I had underpants (in the whole big drama of the ambulance coming my husband had been rifling to find something I'd needed from the brith bag and had take it apart and forgotten to put some components -like underpants- back into it).
We came home from the hospital the next day - I was weak and shellshocked and quite anemic, but I'm getting stronger every day. Thankfully my husband has two weeks paternity leave so he could take care of us while I looked after the baby and recovered.
I look forward to the time when I can pee without it stinging but other than that we are doing great, finding our parenting groove (after a couple of awful, completely sleepless nights) and we're more and more in love with our son every day. It's the best, happiest time of my life.
Me at 40 weeks, a couple of days before the baby was born:
Seconds after having the baby:
My son and his daddy
Cat investigating strange new thing