My Birth Story

I’ve been intending on writing this for quite some time now but couldn’t find the time to sit and reflect on my thoughts about it all. Also not sure if anyone really gives a hoot, but I love a good birth story so if your like me I hope you enjoy!

All through my pregnancy the baby was measuring pretty big and we were having two weekly growth scans to keep a eye qon that, along with a three glucose tolerance tests to try understand why she was growing at such a rate, all of which came back normal. Apparently I just carry big babies. They told me throughout, that if she kept growing at the same rate she was I would have to be induced early. We had a scan at 38 weeks when they estimated that she was weighing 8lbs 3oz, it was then decided to allow me to go to term and see if I would go into spontaneous labour.

Being induced increases your risk of birth trauma or need for intervention such as forceps, ventouse or c section deliveries. Having had a previous induction which result in a postpartum haemorrhage; and a previous spontaneous delivery which I would say was relatively quick and easy, I knew the route I’d have preferred to go down again.

So due date had arrived and still no baby (not for the want of trying everything in the book to get her moving from clary sage baths, bouncing on the ball, copious amounts of curry and spice, she was just too comfortable). We went back for our due date scan when baby seemed to have dropped weight and was only estimated to be 8lb 2oz. The doctor advised he would like me to be induced the following day due to static growth. This could have been due to a problem with the placenta.

I remember my heart sinking and feeling a lump in my throat as I grieved for the minimal drugs, water birth I had been dreaming of the whole pregnancy. Instead now I’d be stuck to a bed with monitors attached to me not able to change positions never mind get into a pool. But as long as my baby was safe that was the main thing right?

While we were there the doctor gave me a stretch and sweep in the hope it might get me going soon without the need for induction. So there I was laying wincing in pain from what felt like he was tearing apart my nether regions and he looks at me with a delighted look on his face, all chuffed with himself and proceeds to tell me that my cervix was looking great. Like how do you even respond to this, do I say thanks? Is that even a compliment? He then went on to say that he had stretched me to 4cm and and my cervix was very soft and favourable…. he reckoned I wouldn’t be about to see the induction tomorrow there was such a good chance of me going on my own.

I began to feel that excitement again as the birth I had been hoping and dreaming for may have been within reach again. We got out from the appointment and Mark dropped me off home as he went on up the road to work. I began to get little niggling pains and ended up having a show. I hopped into a bath full of clary sage oil praying it might get things moving quicker, I began getting small contractions. They were more uncomfortable than overly painful, but they were coming less that five minutes apart. So I rang Mark and told him to come home, he works over an hour away so I was taking no chances since my last daughter was born pretty quickly.

He arrived home and the pains were still there but not getting any worse. As your pregnancy hormones do crazy things, I took an overwhelming desire for a lasagna and begged Mark to try every shop in Ballymena until he found me one. I remember sitting on my bed in a maxi dress, with all the windows open, sweating like an absolute pig during the heatwave of 2018, eating a lasagna through the contractions. Does it get any more glam?

I made it through the night having little kips but not a good sleep at all and still nothing exciting was happening. We got up and left for induction at 7.30am and arrived on the ward for about 8am, where the lovely midwife Sorcha greeted us with tea and toast for breakfast. Big up the NHS, for you wouldn’t get that in the Hilton!

Following breakfast the consultant began her ward round and I was next on the list to be seen. The midwife done a quick examination and said I was 3cm but my cervix was long and the consultant thought the best thing would be to use the propess to help shorten the cervix and get me dilating more. The is a little string like product, it contains a drug that mimics the hormone prostaglandin which is involved in starting off the labour process. It stays in for at least 24 hours. I was under the impression that I was coming up to have my waters broken which would get things moving a lot quicker but unfortunately there were no rooms in delivery suite so I’d just have to wait my turn.

I tried to keep as mobile as possible during induction by walking the corridors of the the hospital and bouncing on the ball between CTGs . Nothing seemed to happen for a long time and I began to feel like Rachel in the friends episode “The one where Rachel has a baby”, when all the ladies come and go before it’s her turn. Later on in the evening the pains started getting worse and you could see them as clear contractions on the monitors, I thought to myself yes, we are finally getting somewhere.

It got to the late evening around 10pm and I think the Sister of the ward also thought things might happen soon as she allowed Mark to stay with me. It began to get a bit heated as the pains became worse and by 1am I was begging the midwife for anything to help me. I had two Cocodamol and feel asleep at 2am only to be woke by the emergency buzzer at 6am. My contractions had completely stopped, I was devastated.

I went for a hot bath at 7am in the hope it might get things going again. It did, by the time 9am came and the consultant was on her ward round I was in agony. But when the midwife checked me I was still only 3cm, how could this be? I was begging for gas and air or anything that would help the pain, please!

The midwife removed the propess and at 11am the plan was to hit the delivery suite, have the waters broken, potentially have the syntocinon drip and have this baby! I was a bit hesitant about having the drip up and requested that I be the one who decides if I did or not depending on the intensity of contractions when the waters were broken.

We made our way to the delivery suite where we were greeted by a lovely midwife who’s name was Steph and a lady doctor who’s name I cannot remember, but she was so lovely and made me feel at great ease. The lovely lady doctor went on to examine me (I was still only 4cm) and broke my waters. It was the strangest feeling like a water balloon popping between my legs then a feeling of warm water, I had no control it just keeping flowing and flowing. Almost instantly I could feel the contractions becoming more and more intense.

Due to my previous history of PPH I had to have two cannulas placed in case the same would happen again and the need for a transfusion might arise. At 1pm two doctors came to pop in the cannulas both of who were anaesthetists, on that note I thought it would be a great time to ask for that remifentanil that had been discussed earlier because the gas an air was just not cutting it any longer.

By 1.30pm the cannulas were in and the remi was hooked up. The midwife examined me around 2pm and I had progressed to 7cm. The contractions were nearly becoming constant and I was getting myself in a tizzy between my gas and air and my little precious remi button, I just didn’t know what to be at. The midwife had to keep reminding me, as soon as you feel one coming press your button first then use your gas and air!

The remi was now working all kinds of wonders. I remember feeling so chilled out, so much so I started a discussion with Mary the loveliest anaesthesiologist ever about how gorgeous her highlighter was as if I was some sort of MUA or something.

The contractions came and went and by about 2.55 I remember feeling a bit of pressure down below, but it wasn’t as intense as I remembered with my previous labours. Do I need to push? Do I not? I held off for a little bit until the midwife thought she seen something going on down below and took the remifentanil off me. Another lovely midwife named Catherine appeared into the room. I was a bit confused and asked why she had arrived in and was getting her gloves on and she told me “your about to have your little baby now honey”.

I asked where my remi had gone and she said when it’s time to push we have to take it away because it makes you sleepy. Hmm…. excuse me hun? So not only was she telling me I had to push…. but I had to do it with just the gas and air. I sort of freaked out a little and refused to push, except my body had other ideas. With the next contraction Molly-Kate basically brought herself into the world on the 2nd of May 2018 at 15:10. Precious memories and a labour I really couldn’t complain about.

Welcome To The World Our Precious Girl

So there we were in our little love bubble, our family was now complete and we couldn’t have been happier. Then I heard a familiar noise and I knew straight away what it was. It was the sound of the emergency buzzer, one I have pulled myself a fair few times in my career. Next thing as expected the room filled with people…. I was haemorrhaging AGAIN. Except this time I wasn’t a naive 18 year old having a baby, I was a qualified nurse who had just delivered my third child and new the severity of what was happening. If I didn’t stop bleeding soon there was a chance I would have to be rushed to theatre which could possibly result in a hysterectomy or worse, which I don’t even bare to think about.

As the room filled with people I remember trying to keep a calm face and playing it all down to Mark so he didn’t panic when inside I was absolutely freaking out. I remember feeling so dizzy and weak and I don’t know if I was hallucinating or what but I remember the midwives seemed to be walking and talking like robots, it was the strangest thing. The midwives and medical staff were nothing short of amazing, the team work was incredible. Everyone knew what role they had to play and within about half an hour they had given me all the drugs to help the uterus begin contracting again, the poor doctor had her arm in up to her elbows manually removing blood clots but they finally got the bleeding stopped. It was thought I had lost around 1200mls of blood but thankfully my haemoglobin levels aloud me to scrape past without needing a blood transfusion.

In Our Own Little Bubble Having Our First Feed

I remember sitting after the bleed had been stopped, everyone had left the room and we were just sat with our little daughter in our arms and I burst into tears as the shock of what my body had been through had been realised. Although I had a PPH with my first born, I was so young and naive. I had no idea of the severity of it and probably thought the red buzzer being pulled was a normal enough thing to happen. Now I have my nurse training and understand the urgency of it all I think it all hit me like a tonne of bricks and I broke down. It just made me think how lucky we are to live in a country which provides free health care. If I had of given birth in a developing country the outcome would most certainly be very different.

Oh yes, so after the emergency was dealt with, they finally got round to doing the babies checks. Who ended up being a whooping 10lb 6oz! It makes me laugh so much because we had been induced due to static growth. Could you imagine the weight she would have been if I had not been induced?

Love At First Sight ❤️

Four months down the line and we are so blessed to have such a happy healthy baby girl!

(Amazing what a good bath and fresh outfit can do for a girl 😂)

Kirstie xx

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