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BS for Alexander James - warning long! (Also in DIJ)

Saturday 12th June

The weekend of sport was how DH, Martin, called it... England v USA was on in the evening, there was still hours of tt to watch and there was the Canadian GP. It wasn't it the 'contract' to go into labour this weekend and something we didn't expect when I was 38+5

Bored of rolling over the birth ball being totally uninterested in the match (I'm allowed Wales aren't a footballing nation) I went upstairs, as I came out of the bathroom I felt a trickle that I couldn't control ,- so quickly ran back in shock. It was 930ish. Surely it was a bladder leak and not my waters - there was no pop and it didn't feel like 'this is it'.

Still I called Martin to get me a pad just in case, saying it's probably nothing but thought it wise to be safe from future leaks. He went back to the footie while I googled hind waters breaking and asked the girls (you know who you are!) for advice as to what to do next. That was irrelevant, I felt a further trickle an hour or so later that was pink tinged so called the delivery suite at 1130 who told me to go in.

I was seen by Nicki who examined my pad and then gave me an internal before confirming my waters has indeed gone but I wasn't yet in labour. So she gave me instructions, told me I'd be induced after 72 hours or sooner if I wanted, booked a routine monitoring visit for Sun 3pm and then told us to go home and get some sleep.

Sunday 13th June

Sleep?!? It was after the dawn chorus before I finally got some shut eye and was wide awake by 8 and not having any contractions. So while Martin slept I went downstairs and well nested a bit more in the hope some floor cleaning would do the trick. It didn't and at 3pm we made our way back to the hospital.

Was seen on the labour ward by a community midwife as everyone else was very busy. That was so hard to come to terms with when we expected to be at home in the throes of early labour. No internal this time just confirmed everything was ok and I had the option of waiting another 24 hours for another monitoring visit or not. I choose waiting even though we knew there was an increased risk of infection. While I was there I had a very mild period pain which was confirmed as a small contraction - at least I now knew what I was looking for.

We got home in time for the Canadian GP (more my cup of tea) so I happily watched that while leaning over birthing ball with TENS on mildest setting still not much more progress. TENS doesn't take the pain away more a welcome distraction which I liked. It was the same story all night, so at 9 we decided we could do with some sleep and went to bed.

Again I couldn't really get comfy with mild contractions and I guess nerves about what was to come. I may have got a few zzz here and there but not that many and was up and down frequently. Finally by 1am I really start to felt it was an idea to start timing the contractions...

Monday 14th June

By 2am the contractions were 30 secs every 3 mins so I decided to wake Martin and call labour ward only to be told I had to wait to be sure I was in active labour which they defined as lasting 1 min in 3 minutes and I sounded as if I was coping alright. Bit disappointed I couldnt go in, but it gave me something else to focus on and handed Martin the ipod to time the contractions. I was told me to take more paracetamol and have a bath - neither of which were very helpful so Martin put the TENS back on, added tape this time to secure the pads and we waited. At 330 the contractions started to reach 1 min but in an average of 4 mins. I started to get hopeful we'd be going soon.... By 530 they still weren't getting any closer and Martin was getting sleepy while the tens wasn't past 1/3 strength I had enough and called again... I was fed up of being uncomfortable and constantly leaking. To my surprise this time I could go in image

Although the hospital is only 5 mins away it took me ages to get into the car and into the labour ward. We were shown to the delivery room and had a lovely mw whose name I cannot remember. She asked about pain relief to which I replied let's see how far along I am. To my shock and possibly hers I was already 9cm - so that solved the pain relief question anything other than gas and air was out of the question according to my birth plan. I really didn't care anymore about the pain after hearing that and sucked on the G&A during contractions with TENS still on. Martin later told me I jealously guarded the gas and air throughout, sleepily telling him that I "liked my drugs"! The mw asked the consultant for a scan as she wasn't sure whether baby was breech - which was a surprise as been head down for weeks. As expected baby was in fact ROA so I was told to lie on my left side for an hour to see if that would turn bump and Martin to get the bags!

Sadly there was a shift change and my next mw Vivian didn't quite have the same pleasant beside manner. I had to get up and lean over the bed back until we were ready to push. After an hour we both felt the contractions had slowed - I think I was so tired, relieved that I was so far along and loving the G&A a little too much that may have been that I just wanted to sleep at this point. So I had no hesitation in accepting the drip to speed up the contractions again even though it meant stage 2 on my back and active stage 3. Birth plan was going out the window but I was realistic that we needed help. Bump had turned but to LOP so we knew pushing would be hard work, and there was difficulty monitoring bumps heartbeat so I also accepted a heart monitor on babies head.

Finally I was told it was time to start pushing! This is when I started to like Vivian... She really did try and coach me through the pushing while Martin was amazing and full of encouragement. However I was so tired and bump nor in optimal position that I wasn't doing very well on the old pushing technique after 20mins. I knew they were giving me an hour to push him out. Another mw came in and suddenly all three of them (Martin included) gave me so much encouragement and advice that we started to get somewhere. Martin had the job of chief brow cooler and monitoring the contractions to tell me to start pushing again. At one point I was sick on the g&a and was getting more and more tired as the magic hour of pushing was almost up. At times I was getting very distressed and hysterical about being unable to deliver our baby but Martin and Vivian always calmed me down time and time again.

Maybe I knew deep down, maybe I was just too tired, but I really wanted some help to deliver our baby. Vivian and Martin were giving me all the encouragement I needed but I just couldn't do it anymore. The next bit is all a bit of a blur, but the obstetrician examined me (after apparently waltzing in saying it smells nice in here!) and said I was being prepped for ventouse/episiotomy and failing that emergency c section.

The next bit really is a blur so here are extracts of what Martin wrote in his diary about preparing to go into theatre:
???????Unfortunately Nic couldn't deliver baby on her own, it was particularly difficult as the baby was in the back-to-back position making the diameter of the head even bigger. As a result we were told by what seemed like a huge gaggle of medics and nurses that we would be going into theatre - they were literally queuing up at Nic's bedside to introduce themselves! Was really scared at this point actually, particularly when Nic had to sign her life away after agreeing to accept all the risks of spinals/epidurals, mechanical deliveries, and Caesarian sections. I was bricking it, the thought of one or both of them being in danger was too much to bear. And even more so after I nervously gowned-up and entered theatre to see Nic in shock - shivering and white as a sheet - and having her spinal chord injected with industrial-strength pain relief.

I was sat on a little stool at Nic's head in theatre, with a nice nurse saying funny things to make me feel better. The anaesthetist tested Nic's reactions with a cold spray (which I'm sure wasn't very welcome at that time) but as things progressed she went more and more numb. The obstetrician then swung into life and started attaching the suction cup (ventouse. I could just see the handle on the ventouse - it looked exactly like an old-style metal corkscrew, not very pleasant.???????.

I remember the cold spray, and I remember these pair of legs being hoisted into the air knowing they were mine but not feeling any sensation. Very surreal. Vivian told me when each contraction was starting and she and Martin continued to encourage me. From somewhere came the determination to push bump out. However two contractions later bump still wasn't delivered, so I was told they were going to have to give me an episiotomy. I was told on antenatal classes that there was only 3 attempts before c section. At this point I so didn't want a c section maybe that's what helped as on the 3rd push after episiotomy there was at 1219 the most delightful sound of our baby wailing his little lungs out cue the tears of joy then the words I'd been waiting for so long - Martin telling me its a boy!!! Who we later named Alexander James S****.

I had a quick cuddle, which was difficult as my hand where the cannula was inserted for the drip was so sore as I don't give veins too easily. Then the uncontrollable shivering started again so I couldn't hold Alexander while I was being stitched up - Martin had that honour... again here is some of his diary
???????Crying as soon as he took his first breaths, he was swaddled in blankets and immediately placed in a heated cot. I couldn't believe he was finally here and started welling up big time - I just about held it together to cut the cord but couldn't answer any questions from any of the nurses or doctors...I'm sure they understood. He wasnt very happy about being placed on the scales but the nurse weighed him at exactly 7 pounds. After Nic delivered the placenta and was cleaned up, we said heartfelt thank-you's to the staff and then moved to a cubicle just outside the theatre room where Nic gave baby his first feed.???????

The consultant later told me that Alexander moved from ROA to ROP to OP to LOP but couldn't get further around - if he had then I would have had no problem delivering him. Alex's heartbeat was fine throughout and his agpar after 1 min was 9 (not surprising given the loud cries on entering the world!). Officially my labour was defined as lasting 11 hours 19 mins (so from 1 o'clock) - not exact as no one knows when I hit 3cms!

While it was not the natural delivery I had secretly hoped for I did not care one little bit - at the end of the day you will do anything to safely deliver your baby into the world.

Pictures will follow - as some of you know we've not had an easy time after the initial elation. On Tues we struggled with b/f and despite my best efforts had trouble getting help as the mws were so busy. Alex was admitted to SCBU on Wed with jaundice so we had an extended stay in hospital which we all hated. I'm still struggling with the b/f and baby blues but can see improvements daily... its so difficult i need any sleep time he has to get some rest myself. I'd love to share some pictures of my gorgeous wee man but dont have to time to load them yet - hopefully soon.

Love Nicola and Alex

[Modified by: - Nessie - on 24 June 2010 21:13:30 ]


  • g/c - I love a good birth story! Hope you don't mind.

    Congratulations on the birth of Alex (lovely name too!). It was lovely to hear your OH's views on the birth - how nice of him to write a diary of it - my hubby never did anything like that, and I wish now that he had.

    You didn't have an easy birth by any means - well done on that final push! Isn't it fabulous to finally hear that cry!

    I hope your little man is doing well now, and that his jaundice is much better.

    If you're still having trouble with b/f, maybe try giving la leche league a call, and they can talk you through things - or perhaps your mw if they come round.

    Congratulations again - enjoy your new baby xxx
  • awww congratulations!
    hope yourbf gets easier for you hun
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