Jamie’s Birth Story! (by Jamie herself)

7 May

Reagan’s Birth Story…

Where do I start? Well I suppose from the beginning….my sweep the 22nd of April. Two days before my due date they decided to give me a sweep to get things moving as I was fed up and the baby was big so we all figured what harm could it do? The consultant said if it works I would be in labour within 48 hours, so the wait began!

Friday was spent with me analyzing every tinge or cramp or pain but in reality nothing was happening at all. Saturday I woke up and went to yoga as usual, when I came home Alan and I went on “our walk” which is 3-4 miles (we can never agree) and spent the day relaxing in the sun. All though I again felt nothing, except did loose the rest of my plug. Sunday, I woke up frustrated that nothing was happening and we decided to do a little sweeping of our own **cough cough** within an hour I was feeling very very crampy. YAY!!! The pains started about 20 minutes apart so we decided to walk, walk and walk. By the night time I was having a lot of spotting and the pains were from 10-20 minutes apart, so into the hospital we went to get Reagan and I checked out. I was put on a monitor and told I was in early labour FINALLY YAY! Bad news was Reagan had turned around and was back to back now 🙁

The next two days were spent having irregular contractions but contractions none the less. They never made it past 10-20 minutes but were painful and waking me up but still bearable and I was able to breath through them. We kept sending Alan off to work as there was no point in wasting his leave, so I just sat at home and coped on my own. I was scheduled for a second sweep on Tuesday so we were waiting for that….Tuesday came and there was no sign of a midwife. I called the office to be told that I was in fact not scheduled one and that I was to just go in on Friday WHAT?? I told her I had been having pains for days so she transferred me to labour ward only to be told that there was no way I was in labour and these were Braxton hicks…..right.

So we will skip my breakdown bit.

Moving along to Wednesday morning…28th of April 4am. Had been woken up several times during the night with pains but managed to fall asleep between them. But come 4am I could no longer do that they were coming every 10 minutes and getting very painful (I had no idea how painful they could actually get at that point) but I was definitely feeling the pressure of back to back labour. Anyway finally I woke Alan up around 5:15 as I couldn’t cope anymore on my own and I needed help. I was on my hands and knees gripping the headboard breathing through them and I started to be a bit vocal as a low pitched humming sound was helping the pain. He woke up and was laying with me trying to ride the contractions with me….while laying there in the middle of a pain at 05:55 I felt a popping in my belly and knew it was my waters. I stood up and sure enough there they were, not a huge tidal wave but definitely waters. I told him “my waters just broke” he said “are you sure?” I looked at the little dripping puddle on the floor and said “uuum ya” and to be honest I panicked a bit at that time…I was thinking Oh CRAP! This is really it! Alan got up and ran me a bath and I sat in it contracting away talking to my mommy on the phone and by this time the pains were 5 minutes apart and getting worse by the second. I knew she was coming and I knew she was coming fast (or so I thought)

Alan called the hospital at this point and the midwife said on the phone we have no rooms available and Alan said “this baby is coming whether you have rooms or not! So she asked to talk to me and after hearing me contract a few times over the phone she changed her tune and said see you in 20 minutes. I was scared, I was in pain and errr did I mention I was scared? The next few minutes was spent gathering all our things and getting me ready (which was not easy as I was contracting so frequently) but we managed and finally I was in the car. The ride there was an interesting one at nearly 7am and in lots of early morning traffic watching everyone on their way to work while feeling regular pains and having to pull over so I could be sick on the side of the road in front of the morning commuters….just a preview of things to come that would take away any sense of dignity.

Anyway we got to the hospital and I had a contraction in the parking lot and then another in the corridor outside labour ward! Through the intercom the lady said step in and go into the waiting room on your right and wait to be seen, but I had another contraction right there in the hall. I could hear people talking in the waiting room and I was NOT going into a room full of strangers so they could watch me shake and moan through these pains NO WAY! Anyway once she saw me in the hall she said how long as she been like this? Alan told her half an hour and straight into a room I went!

Once in the room (which happened to be the water birth room, YAY) we were left to our own devices while they found us an available midwife! So I huffed and puffed through them all with the help of Alan, who I could not have done any of this without. Finally a midwife came in and examined me only to find that I was only 3 cm NOOOOO. But there was a green discharge which scared everyone as we were sure it was meconium (baby pooed inside me) and the minute she said that and told me she would like to monitor me, my ideas of my perfect birth started to fade and I at that point knew I would not have any control over anything from that point on 🙁 So put on the monitor they noticed slight decelerations of Reagan’s heartbeat during the contractions, which is actually normal but because of the poo I was pulled out the water room and put in the little room that we would spend the rest of the day. I was so sad to find that I would spend the duration of labour strapped to a monitor which basically means being strapped to a bed which was in fact my worst nightmare…the one thing I did not want to happen. And let me tell you back to back labour is the intense beyond words. I can tell you that the pain I felt in my belly and back I thought could literally split me in 2. They say it’s the worst kind of labour to have and I see why now. It was in this room I was offered gas an air. So with the help of my wonderful husband I laboured all day on gas and air not being able to walk or move, and it was sooo hard, the hardest thing I will ever do in my life. The contractions were every 2-3 minutes which felt like no break and were so bad I literally did not speak at all for at least 8 hours. I spent the whole day shaking through the pain throwing up in between in the pains, and concentrating like I’ve never concentrated before. Begging Alan in my head to help take it away but could not manage to even say a word, and unfortunately I don’t think he could read my eyes like I wanted him too.

After a long long time they decided to check my monitor and was told I need syntocin (a synthetic hormone) to be put into my drip to give me stronger contractions. I was having 4-5 every 10 minutes but needed to have 5-6. It was at that point I knew I couldn’t do it anymore on my own. I was barely managing the pain now but with the added strength I would not be able to cope……so I cried because of my failure to birth naturally and asked for an epidural. I still feel like a complete failure to do this and feel like if my birth would have been a bit more straight forward (her being in the right position) I would have been able to manage. But could not do it with medically managed intensified contractions. So it was then they gave me an internal exam and I found out I was at 8cm…which made me feel a bit better to be able to get this far on my own. And was administered an epidural. Now I have to say the pain was immediately better (I think they could have injected me with water and could have had the same effect but in my head it was what I needed so it worked immediately) It was then things got better for me the pressure lifted off my back and I could finally talk it was heaven. I was checked two hours later and told that I was 10cm but there was a bit of cervix left to move back so they left me another hour. Was checked again and told at 7:30 I could push!!!

We had left the epidural and not topped it up so I could feel enough to push and it wore off very fast. I was able to feel again through the pushing stage, and out of the whole day it was the best time for me. I could feel the contraction and feel her being moved down with each push…I pushed 3x per contraction. It was exhausting but Alan was so amazing throughout! He was helping me breathe and push helping me relax in between and so wonderful I would never have made it without him by my side. It was me him and my midwife in a semi dark room and it was wonderful and pushing felt so good and so natural I absolutely loved it. I pushed for an hour. Hospital policy says that after an hour I needed to be assessed so while the consultant talked about me to everyone we stayed in that room pushing like I was for another hour. By this point I was been in established labour for over 16 hours. My body was tired and my contractions were starting to slow. It was felt by everyone that I needed a bit of help with her being the wrong way she wasn’t moving down like she should.

I was told then that Reagan would be delivered by forceps…but in case that didn’t work I would need to an emergency section. Because time is so important they would prep me for section so there would be no delay between forceps and section. My epidural had by this time worn off so they added something else to it to numb me from the chest down. I went from a calm happy place to being in theatre with at least 10 Drs swarming around me and my husband wasn’t even allowed in at this point. The side effect to the epidural is shaking and I was shaking so so hard. Finally after forever they let Alan come in to me and it was so nice to have him by my side again while everyone went crazy around me he talking calmly to me saying everything would be alright and I cried and cried and shook but knew it would be ok like he said. Finally it was time so they used forceps and during each contraction I had to push like I was with them pulling her head at the same time. They attempted forceps 4 times and I was told that it was not working and at this point baby needed to come out. I have never been so scared in my life and just wanted my baby. So they immediately began my section. Within minutes of feeling them literally rearranging my insides I heard her cry for the first time and it was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard and will never ever forget it. They say she cried immediately after being pulled out (by forceps might I add…she was so deep in my birth canal from my pushing that they needed forceps again to pull her out the other way) They briefly held her up for me to say hello and rushed her off as she was covered in meconium.

I told Alan to go be with her so she wouldn’t be alone and laid there while the put all my insides back where they should be. It was a horrible feeling….they kept pumping me full of drugs and I was so so so out of it. Alan brought Reagan into me so I could see her and get some kisses but I was so out of it I couldn’t even focus on him or her which hurt to the very core of my heart. It took over an hour for them to put me back together. And it was then I was taken into recovery to meet my daughter. It was in recovery I started to get feeling back in my legs (which wasn’t supposed to happen for 16 hours, found out later I had a faulty epidural…..great) but all I wanted was REAGAN! I called my mom from there and was talking when they brought Reagan to me…I quickly gave the phone to Alan as the most important thing was meeting my angel. I held her for the first time over an hour after she was born and it was amazing! She latched on for a feed which was the most amazing thing and again I cannot put into words what it felt like to hold her and feed her. I’ve waited for her my entire life and meeting her was the moment of my life.

I am so in love with her I cannot explain. We now have the family we have wanted and it is so great! She is now a week old and thriving! She has taken very well to feeding and we couldn’t be happier. Alan is so in love with her it’s fantastic to watch! I always knew he would be a good dad but he has exceeded every expectation I have ever had of what a father should be like. As I type right now I watch them sleep on the couch side by side and my heart is swelling with love so intense I feel like I could burst. It was an experience to say the least but to bring this angel into our lives but I would do it a million times over……

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