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Austin's birth story (warning very very long!)

Hi ladies sry it's taken so long but I've finally got round to writing this

I'll warn u now this cld turn into a long one lol so get urself a cup of tea and some cake

Well it all started on Monday 16th march (40+1) my midwife came on a home visit to do the sweep she had promised me due to my blood pressure being a bit high for me. However she gets here and checks my BP first and it had shot up to 150/97, so she said this was far too high and was sending me up to the assessment unit at the hospital. No problem I thought, probably will do a bit of monitoring and be sent home or I'll get my baby today. So get to the hospital and get stuck on the monitors, have my BP checked every half hour and it starts to settle back down again. But had to wait for the doctor to see me before I could be discharged, I was admitted at 12.30pm and finally see the doctor at 5.50pm who decides they want to do 3 hour obs over night. Well I got a bit tearful the thought of having to stay overnight in that hospital on my own was daunting to say the least but luckily we had taken my hospital bag on the off chance. So I was taken round to the ward but had missed dinner so OH went and got me a maccy ds lol. I hardly slept that night wondering what the following day would bring and being woken every time I did manage to drop off to have my BP checked.

Tuesday comes and more monitoring. They tell me I need to wait to see the doctor before they can tell me if I'm going home or not. so spend the day waiting but luckily I'm on a ward with some nice other girls, one who's 30 wks and has severe preE, another who is 34 wks and lost her waters and a 37 wk with the liver thing. we all spend the day chatting and getting to know each other (two of which I'm still in contact with now), the doc finally does her rounds at 3.30pm (by which time I'm getting peeved) my BP had risen earlier to 168/104 but was now down to ??/92 (can't remember the first digits lol). So she does a sweep (most uncomfortable thing ever!) and tells me that my cervix is still very high and that she's going to send me home and book me for induction the following week. She goes off to find a date and comes back 20 mins later. She's changed her mind. She wants to induce me in the morning as my BP keeps going up, down up down. I wasn't too pleased to be staying in again but was excited at the fact that I was going to be induced in the morning so would hopefully have my little boy by the end of the day. That night everyone tells me to get as much rest as possible as it'll be a long day and surprisingly I slept really well.

The midwives wake me at 6am and put me on the monitor. they tell me they're just waiting for labour ward to quieten down a bit because as soon as I'm given that first gel I become high risk and as it's so busy it wouldn't be safe to do that yet (at this point I wonder why then did they wake me and not let me sleep until the time came). Another day of waiting. Lunch time comes and still no news. OH and I are beginning to get short tempered of just being left hanging. 2 o clock the ward sister comes round and says that she'll speak to the doctor soon but doesn't think they will be doing it today!! I'm gutted and burst into tears. 3 days and 2 nights in hospital and now they're not sure whether to induce me or not?? I insist on being told something soon and tell her that if they are not inducing me then they better discharge me as I'm not staying in another night for nothing. So she tells me she'll get a doctor to come and see me. It's 3 o clocks when they decide they will induce and take me round to labour ward for my first dose of prostin. Yay! At last something's happening. So yet more monitoring, followed by an internal exam, then in goes the gel. I'm told that u can have a max of 4 gels at least 6 hours apart, but that I wouldn't get the second gel that day as that would be 10pm and it would be better to get rested and try again in the morning if nothing happens over night. So now I get taken down to the induction bay (well a makeshift one because the real induction bay had a leaky roof so they had had to close it) which was a room with 2 beds and I had it all to myself. 11pm and a woman comes in as her waters went 36 hours previous. I remember she kept pacing round the room with her tens on. The following morning she was gone, she had a girl in the early hours.

So now we're at Thursday (40+4), I go down to labour ward at 7am, monitored for 1hr and 45 mins then get given my second gel. I'm delighted to hear I'm now 1cm which was progress nonetheless and told to come back at 2.30pm for my next lot. I spend the day walking the halls of the hospital in a bid to get things moving. Bouncing and rocking on the gym ball and just trying to be as active as possible. Another girl had brought in to the induction bay that morning and by the time I get back she's delivered her baby. At this point I'm beginning to feel like Rachel in friends!! Lol! That afternoon I go back for my next dose. I'm monitored for another hour and am having contractions every 3-4 mins lasting 30 secs. The midwife tells me that as I'm contracting well that they won't give me that gel and to wait it out over night and see what the morning brings. the contractions continue overnight and as I'm laying in my bed I see one of the special incubators get rushed passed my room, 15 minutes later it zooms back passed me again towards the SCBU it gets me thinking about how lucky I am that I'd made it to full term. I later find out that it was the girl in the next bed to me from the original ward that had had her baby girl at 34 weeks and hoping that they are both well. Eventually I drift off. I wake up in the morning to find the contractions have stopped!!

Another day, another gel lol. 6.30am and I'm back round to labour ward for gel number 3. By now I am so sore from constant internals and just want it to start working. The midwife (Jenny) comes in and plugs me into the monitor...again! I'm on there for 45 minutes before I buzz her and ask to be taken off because I'm desperate for a wee. She asks if I can just wait 5 more minutes because 10 minutes ago there appears to have been a bit of a blip (I'm thinking if she had taken me off after 15 minutes like she was supposed to then there wouldn't be a blip) where I had moved. 15 minutes later I have to buzz her again and explain to her that I am very close to wetting myself! She finally gives in and lets me off. When I come back she does an examination. MY GOD!!! I swear she was trying to rip my insides out but on a lighter note I'm now apparently 2cm! YAYS at last we might be getting somewhere! She inserts the gel and she couldn't have been more cack-handed if she tried, it scraped and pulled and scratched me and I actually ended up in tears, I began to wonder if she actually knew what she doing?? Anyhoo, so the gel's in and I'm monitored for again. During this time my OH turns up and wonders why he's found me crying. I'm finally -freed' at 9.45, a whole 3 hours and 15 minutes of poking and monitoring! Trying to look on the bright side, I've one gel left; I need to go back at 2pm to get that one done. I figure by the end of the day I'll be in labour if not already had my little boy.

I spend the time in between walking and re walking the length and breadth of the hospital with my OH in a final bid to help things along. At about 12.30 I'm bored of this lol; I decide to go back to my room for some ball bouncing. However there's a another lady in the other bed now who has been lucky enough to already have her baby and she asks me to stop the ball bouncing as it's disturbing her. So I trundle off round to the labour room early and continue my efforts there.

2.30pm and Jenny is back. I can't help but feel disappointed that I've got her again. I'm back on the monitor for 30 minutes. Not even a twinge! GRRR! She gets a doctor to come and examine me as she doesn't want to hurt me again. Phew! They spend a few minutes discussing whether to send me home or book me for a section. I'm a bit baffled by this and point out that I still have one gel attempt left. They re-read my notes and agree, yes I do still have a last chance. Doctor pops his gloves on and has a rummage a round. He asks Jenny to get the gel ready as I'm still only 2cm and that apparently is not enough to pop my waters. However literally as he says that my waters gush EVERYWHERE! All over Mr. Doctors arm! All over the bed. All over the floor! I was in such a shock that they had gone that I burst in to tears and kept apologising to him saying ???????I'm so sorry, I didn't expect that???????, to which he replied ???????neither did I???????. It's quite amusing looking back on it, but at the time it terrified me. But I can't help but say the line ???????all over his arm??????? without chuckling to myself!

So... we have lift off, no going back now, baby has to come soon.

4pm and I start to get twinges first every 10 minutes but gradually working up to 3-4 minutes. BY 7pm the contractions are getting no closer and after another exam I'm told I'm still only 2cm. So in goes the drip, on goes the monitor and blood gets taken (not quite sure why I had blood taken as I was never told). I'm told they will increase the drip every 30 mins. So there I am, stuck sat upright on a bed with these pains going thru the base of my spine. And I just want to move. But...the monitor is there so i can't. The only way I manage to cope with it at all is to lean as far forward as I can with each tightening and for OH to apply pressure to the base of my spine. I'm such a wimp but My Oh My, did it hurt!

It's now 9pm and after 4 increases of the drip the doctor comes to check on me, after another examination I'm still 2cm! She asks if anyone has discussed pain relief with me, ???????nope???????, would I like some? ???????Yep??????? so she sends a midwife in to see me. What would I like? Err, what have u got? I'm told I can have pethidine or an epidural. I ask about Gas and air and am told I can't have it because I'm not dilated enough. Mind boggling, surely I can't have anything then? Apparently that's my third option, so pethidine, epidural or nothing. I opt for the pethidine stating that I would like to avoid any sharp objects going into my spine. So it's now 9.30 and pethidine is beginning to set in. I start feeling woozy and lightheaded so from here on it all goes a bit wonky in my memory and OH has had to fill me in on it. Not much is really happening for a while, drip gets turned up a bit more, another internal, I drift in and out of consciousness waking for the contractions (although I would have preferred to have been awake and slept only during contractions lol). Oh and at 10pm I get brought the gas and air, I don't ask any questions as to why I'm suddenly allowed it I just take it gratefully although I'm not shown how to use it, other than the very helpful instruction of -breathe it in and out'.

At some point in all of this as well my parents turn up to see me lol, and I have a phone call from my brother asking if there's any sign of baby yet... he didn't even know I was in hospital so was a bit shocked when I told him I was in labour and had been in hospital for 5 days lol.

The pethidine doesn't really help with the pain, just makes me sleep in between so not giving me enough time to even think about the pain. I mean I remember knowing it hurts but then I would just zonk out as soon as it finished and I was sick a couple of times but not sure if that was down to the pethidine or the sudden intense contractions from the syntocin drip . I also remember being aware of little fella's heartbeat. I remember it kept dropping with each contraction. At one point I remember the screen going down to 42! I started to panic a bit at this point. I ring the buzzer and get someone in to look to check it's not my pulse it's picking up. I remember they told me that I wasn't allowed to sit upright with the contractions anymore, they thought this was making it lose the trace. I turned onto my side (took some persuading to get them to let me do that) and OH held the monitor in place, I was left for about 15 minutes during which time I remember I kept saying to OH that our little man wasn't happy because his heartbeat was still going down with my contractions. We call a midwife who tells me to sit up -because baby doesn't like that position', I remember thinking -no, he's distressed' she leaves again for another 15 minutes, during which time I apparently suggest to OH that we have some nookie to help things along!!! Now I truly don't remember that and am not sure if he's just teasing me but he's adamant. He's still dipping so I call her back and tell her it's nothing to do with my position and that he is not happy! My contractions are now lasting for 3-4 minutes with only 1 minute between so when he dipped, he dipped for a long time! So I start panicking even more and ask my OH why they aren't doing anything to help him. Of course he didn't know the answer and was staying calm to try to keep me calm. She goes out and brings with her a doctor, they um and ah at the trace and eventually conclude that our little boy is in distress. The midwife then tells me that they need to get the baby out. Well d'uh.

The time is now 12.15am (40+6), my waters went 8 hours ago and I had been on this drip for 5 hours and all in all had been strapped to this bed for 10 gruelling hours. One last examination so they can decide the course of action..... Still 2cm!! And he was still only 2/5 engaged! Forceps and ventouse go promptly flying out the window. The theatre team come in to see me to explain the emergency caesarean procedure and get me to sign the consent form. Finally I'm told how to use the gas and air properly! The bloke who talks to u through the operations notices that I'm not using it correctly and tells me how to do it. WOW! What a difference! Finally some pain relief. Bit ironic though, almost as soon as I start getting relief they start prepping me for theatre, so the drip comes out and the contractions ease a little, still wasn't giving up the G&A though now that it was finally working lol.

I'm wheeled through to theatre where everything just completely changes. The atmosphere is so very different and I begin to relax almost immediately as I now feel that finally I'm in the care of people who actually know what they are doing. The staff seem calmer and less like headless chickens which is altogether reassuring. The anaesthetist and the -talking bloke' (lol) do a bit of banter between them and general chit chat with us, asking where we're from, how we met etc. all in the aid of trying to keep my mind off what was happening. And I have this recollection of being really cold, it was strange because the labour ward was always so warm but I was definitely cold and that freaked me out a little bit. And then came the spinal block! So much for not wanting any sharp objects in my spine lol. But I tell u what, it was great! As the spinal took effect I felt like I was being wrapped in a warm blanket. Weird, don't know why but the spinal made me go all warm again and to be honest the warmth was lovely. However it also made my arms and chest go a bit itchy, a common side effect so I'm told.

After all that had happened in the past 5, now the sixth day in hospital, it was suddenly worth it. At 1.06am Saturday 21st march Austin David finally came into the world weighing 6lb12 and everything else just seemed to melt away with that first cry. Clich????d as it sounds, it seemed at that moment to be just the 3 of us in that room, the surgeons and everyone else seemed to vanish, and I just lay there looking at the two most precious men in the world hardly believing that I was lucky enough to have such a great partner and such a beautiful son and that we had made him. That gorgeous bundle had been in my tummy for the past 9 months and he was perfect. And it got even better when I finally got my first cuddle with Austin. I was wheeled back round to the ward at around 3.30am and looked at my gorgeous son until my eyes finally closed.

I woke in the morning to my very first day as a mother. Still stuck in bed until the evening when I finally found the energy to attempt getting up. Breastfeeding was tentative and I really was founding it so much harder than I ever imagined it would be and the midwives and nurses were all too busy to be of much help. So on the Sunday, my very first mother's day, I was mobile enough to be transferred to the birth centre where I had originally planned to have my oh so natural minimum interference birth. They were great there and offered untold support which enabled me to start feeding him confidently and effectively. We came home at 4 days old but unfortunately ended up back in the birth centre at 10 days due to Austin struggling to regain his birth weight although he had only lost 2oz anyway. It was the best decision though to go back as it reassured me that I was feeding him well, and when we left 3 days later he was 6lb14oz. At 2 weeks old I introduced one bottle of formula feed in the evening and now at 7 weeks he has 2 bottles of easy digest a day which has worked brilliantly for us.

I can't believe how much I have written, and I'm sorry that at points it turns into a bit of a moan fest but tbh, I put this off for so long because I did find the whole experience quite traumatic and I needed to try and get my head round it first, but this has actually helped enormously. I still have moments when I look back on the birth and I'm just filled with a feeling of panic and negativity. I'm not sure what will happen if I have any more as I really don't want to be reliving that experience. Having said that.... The outcome was the best it could've been and I need to just focus on that.

Again I do apologise for the length of this, and well done and thank you to those of u (if any) who managed to read it without nodding off


  • Aww bless you it sounds like you had a bit of a rough time! I was also inuced and found it an awful experiance as i was just left to get on with it as the ward was so busy! And the internal exams were awful and very painfull, glad you are and baby are ok and doing well.

    Danielle and charlie 5 weeks. xxx
  • Blimey you poor thing! You did really well! I didn't have half the bad experience that you had and I still feel that I can't really talk about the birth as I find it too traumatic and get too upset, so you are doing really well and should be proud of yourself!

  • Hi,

    Just read your story - very long and hard but kinda worth it in the end.

    Neither of my labours were long (5 hours & 2 hours) so I was lucky!

    Our local hospital has a scheme called "Birth After Thoughts" where you can discuss with a midwife what happened during your labour and the reasons behind some of the decisions made by the health professionals. I have yet to make an appointment but a few friends have been and think it has been invaluable (especially prior to having baby number 2). Ask at your hospital if they do anything like this (the Patient Liaison Service is a good place to start). It sounds like it would be useful for you to discuss things before you have another!!!

    Well done and good luck xxx
  • i had to laugh at the rachel bit from friends as that was what i was watching on the telly as reading.

    glad every thing turned out okand you are doing really well being able to write about it

  • Hello, my baby was born on Feb 28th but had a similar birth to you. Was a few days less, but kept going in and being sent home feeling as though I was being very soft as I was only 2 cms. After being on the drip for hours I only dilated to 4cm and had to have a section. He was back to back and the baby's head wasn't tucked in like it should be and was looking upwards so the contractions were trying to push him through by the side of his head.
    Like you the moment I was wheeled to theatre everything suddenly became calm and you have an end point in your head. Glad everything worked out great and you have baby Austin safe and sound.
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