Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Birth Story #1

I have been considering doing Nathaniel's birth story for a while.  Today, I turned 37 weeks pregnant with Baby J and thought it would be quite a fitting time to do a birth story. If you're new to Scarlet's Anatomy, you won't know that with Nathaniel, I didn't actually know I was pregnant until I was 37 weeks pregnant.

I just want to write a disclaimer that I am no way a medical expert and that every birth for every woman is completely different. There will be tones of people who had a harder time in labour than me and a lot of people having even easier births. I am purely writing what my experience was and what helped me. I read a lot of labour stories before I went in to hospital and I found they help me, so I hope this will help a few of you new to be parents out there!
(This is also super long, so an extra big sorry!)


Nathaniel expected due date was the 24th November 2013 and to be honest with you, due to the circumstances I don't think it was going to be very easy to give an accurate expected date.

It came to around the 5th of December and there were still no signs that he wanted to come any time soon. My midwife explained to meet that I will go through the induction process if he wasn't showing any signs by the time I was 42 weeks pregnant.

On the 7th of December, (which was a Saturday), I was told to call as early as 7AM to call up and get a time to come in to hospital to start off the induction. I remember that night I couldn't sleep at all and was completely terrified and couldn't stop crying. It just all seemed so real the thought of having to go to hospital to have a baby?! I don't even think I had my hospital bag packed until that night.

I was told to call back later in the day as they were very busy at the time. I think it was about midday by the time they told me to come in for 3PM. This is where things started to seem very serious, very quickly.

We arrived at the hospital and I was sent up to a ward with 5 other beds. The midwife did all the usual checks like blood pressure and Nathaniel's heartbeat etc. It was then explained that they were going to start off by inserting a pessary for 24 hours to help try and stimulate contractions at 6PM. I've heard many stories from other women who have had no issue with this at all, but for me - I found it a rather painful experience. Ben tried to distract me with watching some films but it was quite painful throughout. I felt really anxious as well as I had to stay over night which meant Ben had to leave the ward at 10PM. I think the only comfort I found was bouncing on a pregnancy ball. The nurses must have thought I was exaggerating the pain because they looked at me as if I was mad! I stayed up practically all night in pain trying to distract myself by watching Gossip Girl. I couldn't lay down or sit on the bed without being in discomfort.

It got to about 7AM and I decided to see if having a bath helped. Whilst the bath was hot, it helped and when it cooled down the pain came back so I think I managed to have about 2 baths in the space of an hour. By that time, Ben arrived back at the ward and he still says I looked pale white and completely exhausted and I really was! I remember having codeine, but I don't really remember it doing much. I know I just wanted 6PM to come around so they could take the pessary out.

The time quickly came around and I think I dilated nearly 1cm, so not really much at all or what they hoped at least so they did a membrane sweep too.  They said they were going to keep me on the ward until they could get me a room on the labour ward as it was particularly busy. Ben had to leave again at 10, but just before he managed to get home, he had a phone call telling him to come back as it was time.

We arrived in the room and I remember looking around like thinking 'this is happening, like really happening'. The midwife introduced herself to us and what the process of induction was going to be. I turned around at this point and decided, 'nope, sorry not today'. It sounds really bad, but I was completely exhausted mentally and physically and I don't think I felt in any way ready to go through it. I just wanted my home, bed and a good night sleep. Obviously, no one could have forced me to do anything at that point, so they offered Ben and I a side room for the night so we could rest and try again the next day. I was so thankful because it was probably the best decision for us.

It was now Monday, 9th of December and we were told they were just waiting for a room to become free. I honestly felt so much better and ready for what was about to thrown at us.


We arrived at a different delivery room at about 4PM. It was explained that I was going to have a drip with a hormone called Syntocian to start the labour process. The midwife also had to broke my waters for me. I didn't find that painful, I think I was just shocked how much there was in comparison to what I expected. I had a student midwife accompanying the midwife and she was really great and kept me pretty calm. I think the drip kept being put up and my contractions were starting to get pretty painful and were barely a minute apart. I eventually gave in and had gas and air, but by 11PM things were just too painful and it was decided an epidural was the best idea. 

I didn't find having the epidural painful, or as painful as the contractions I was having. I don't have any regrets having an epidural as Nathaniel didn't look likely he was going to make an appearance for at least another 6 or so hours. We ended up watching a few films and Desperate Housewives whilst we let everything sort of happen. It must have got to about 7AM and they said if he wasn't looking like he was coming by 9AM, they were going to give me a C-Section. By then, they could see his head and it was time to start pushing. 



From what I remember, I got to the point I was trying to find any way I could to not have to but I had to pull myself together. The only downside of the epidural was I just felt like I needed to push all the time because it's a horrible pressure feeling, so I couldn't exactly feel the contractions and therefore the right time to push. At 10:51am on the 10th of December, Nathaniel was born weighing 7lbs 2. He was the first baby I had ever held and I remember feeling relief as the medical staff were all sort of injecting my leg and sorting everything out. See, I remember as well the after birth not being easy to push out either, but everyone has different experiences!


After the storm calmed down and Ben was feeding Nathaniel a bottle, I was told I actually had a grade 2 tear which meant stitches. Oh boy, I think they were the worst bit about the labour because of the aftercare.  I was moved to another ward with another 5 beds with women and their new borns and was told I would have to stay over night due to having the epidural etc. Nathaniel was completely fine, but I just remember the pain of sitting or doing anything because of the stitches. Ben wasn't even able to stay that night and to be honest, I don't think I was in the best of states to care for a baby that I had barely any idea how to change a nappy or how often. This was a completely scary, new experience and it just felt really crazy. I just wanted to get home with Nathaniel and get back to normal.

By the next day, I had packed all our stuff in the morning after having a rough night. I just about managed to get dressed and told them I wanted to be discharged - to be honest it worked and they let us go home in the early afternoon. It was such a lovely feeling to bring him home after going through all pain and tiredness and it definitely made it feel worthwhile.

Regarding the stitches aftercare, I was told numerous things by different midwives, health care assistants and the internet. My main concern was avoiding any infection as you can imagine why...

I bathed every night and put a few drips of tea tree oil, lavender and real sea salt. These are all natural antiseptic and to be honest, I didn't want to put any strong soaps etc just in case. I also was advised by a health care visitor to take Arnica tablets and they personally helped me a lot! It took me about 2/3 weeks to fully heal from the stitches which wasn't a long time but it just stopped me being able to do my usual things like sitting down comfortably.

I may do a future post on the after care and the first 10 days of bringing a baby home because they are so scary and great all at the same time. Well, apart from feeling like a zombie but it does get better! It's funny because at the moment whilst writing this, Nathaniel is sat down playing with his garage he got for Christmas, watching his trains and looking as happy as ever. It's crazy how much he's changed from that day and how you go from feeling like this isn't going to feel better, to writing this and being broody for babies! 

I'm sorry this post is super long, I just didn't want to miss certain parts as I find the more information you have, the better? So, go you if you have actually read to here!

Let me know in the comments below what you thought!

Love S x


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