My Birth Story
Hi there again everyone. The fact that you’re reading this tells me that you somewhat
enjoyed my first ever blog post! This one is a VERY long one, but you’ll soon see why.
So I was given a due date of 15 th April 2018. Due to the growth scans I’d had towards the
end of my pregnancy, the consultant booked me in an induction date of 20th April after I’d
turned down an elective caesarean so I knew I wouldn’t be waiting the full 2 week limit a lot
of Moms have to endure! It was funny, because shortly before we’d found out my due date,
we’d booked tickets for the Dancing On Ice tour. It’s a tradition for me, my Mom and
Grandma to go every year, and we sit rinkside. We had been joking for weeks prior, as my
due date ended up being the day after we were due to go. My Mom said that no matter
what, she would be going to Dancing On Ice! Well, all 3 of us got to go, and we had a great
afternoon together, apart from when Mom told me off for dancing along too much, thinking
I’d kickstart my labour!
I was lucky to break up from school with the other children at Easter, so I had 2 weeks to
rest before my due date. Well the 15 th came and went (as we presumed it would) with
absolutely no sign of baby. Unfortunately, this meant that on the Monday 16 th , Luke had to
return to work. Even when I went for my midwife appointment at 2 days overdue, there had
been nothing. I had initially been booked in for a sweep, but the midwife said it wouldn’t
make a difference if I hadn’t had a single twinge. I went home feeling slightly relieved, as I
had heard they were very uncomfortable (which is partly true), and thought it wouldn’t be
so bad, knowing I’d be going into hospital to be induced just a couple of days later anyway.
I’d obviously discussed various options with my midwife, and I was total flexible in terms of
how I would give birth, and what interventions I may need. I kept an open mind which
definitely worked in my favour, because it rarely goes to plan!
Once you get to this stage of pregnancy, every twinge, pain or funny feeling makes you
panic temporarily. So, that night, at about 10:30, I’d already gone to bed, but woke up
thinking my waters may had broken. I’d heard about the fore and hind waters, and that
some people’s waters breaking could be just like a trickle. I got myself changed, and went
back to bed, but an hour later I woke up feeling it again. I called the hospital who told me to
come in. I woke Luke up, and we were out the door with bags in the car within 15 minutes.
Not bad if you ask me! Once we got to the hospital, I was given an examination to find there
was no sign of my water breaking and no signs of the start of labour. Goodness knows what
was wrong with me then, maybe I was imagining things. I felt this midwife was quite rude,
almost being condescending towards me because I thought I was in labour. Anyway, she
gave me a sweep (remember when I said they were uncomfortable?) and I was sent home.
That night I didn’t sleep at all. If my back wasn’t in agony, then my lower stomach was. It
was like the worst period pain in the world, bearing in mind I’d never suffered with them, so
this was me assuming that’s what they felt like. Nothing was soothing it, and the only time I
was comfortable was when I was stood upright. So I paced the house that night whilst Luke
slept as he had work the following morning. When he woke I told him what was happening
and I rang the hospital again. They said to try the usual – take a bath, take some painkillers,
call us when your contractions are closer. Well if I’m honest, I was in constant agony, so I
wasn’t sure if I was having them or not. Luke’s Mom kept me company for the day, whilst I
continued pacing the house, then bouncing on a birthing ball and having a dip in the bath.
That seemed to be the only thing to temporarily ease the pain. I was exhausted already but
couldn’t get comfortable enough to nap, I didn’t even want to eat!
I spoke to Luke and he got to come home from work early. I phoned the hospital again (for a
3 rd time!) and they said to come in for an examination. So labour had officially started –
wahoo! – but I was only 2cm dilated so they wouldn’t keep me in. Another sweep (which
this time was nowhere near as uncomfortable, the midwife was much nicer too!) and I was
sent home with the instruction that if things got any more intense to come back again. We
grabbed a McDonalds on the way home, and I got into bed for about 8pm.
I’d finally manage to dose, but by 11pm the pain in my back was so severe, I woke Luke up
and said “it’s got to be it this time!”. So back to the hospital we went AGAIN! 3 visits in less
than 24 hours! I was examined, the same midwife as first time round, so not particularly
pleasant, but I’d progressed no more – still 2cm. I broke down in tears. I’ve suffered with
sciatica in the past so my pain threshold in my back is quite high, but this was just
unbearable. I told the midwife that I couldn’t lie down or sit down without being in
excruciating pain and nothing was helping. I was being forced to lay still on the bed whilst I
had the monitors hooked up to me, but I couldn’t take it any longer. I put my foot down and
said that I wasn’t going home and they needed to give me some stronger medication to
ease the pain. They came back pretty quickly after talking to the doctors and agreed to
letting me stay in. The hardest part of agreeing to that was that Luke couldn’t stay whilst I
was on a normal ward as I wasn’t in established labour.
So it was about 12:30 on Thursday morning, technically now 4 days overdue and I’d finally
been admitted. A tearful goodbye to Luke, he was able to return at 8 the next morning. I
was taken up to the ward, and given a dose of pethidine to ease the pain. I’d read up about
pethidine, and it was supposed to knock you out so you could get some sleep. Not me! I
don’t recall sleeping that night, all I did was walk up and down the corridor, and ran a bath
at 3am! The midwifery support workers were lovely and would chat to me every time I
hobbled past them. The midwives would come round every few hours to check your blood
pressure etc. but I had to really gain their attention if I wanted some more pain medication.
With the pain I was in, I was convinced Rory was back to back, but when the midwives were
checking, they assured me I wasn’t. At 12pm on Thursday, I was asked to be examined again
as I hadn’t been checked since I had been admitted. 4cm. Wow – I’ve been in hospital for
over 12 hours and only dilated 2cm. I’d been at 2cm since 6pm the night before! Although at
this point, the midwife said “you’ll be able to have the next room available on delivery suite
now!”. The news we’d been waiting for! I was far enough into labour to access more
facilities, including the birthing pool and Entonox. We’d been told that over the night shift, 8
babies had been delivered, so it couldn’t be long! We packed everything up and sat and
waited. And waited, and waited. 10pm came, still no bed on delivery suite, meaning that
Luke had to go home. Cue more tears. I’d barely slept since Monday night, I was still in pain,
so I asked for more pethidine. Yet again it didn’t work so I spent another night pacing the
corridors and having baths at ridiculous o’clock.
At 6am on Friday 20 th April, the midwifery support worker came in to tell me I was on my
way downstairs! Finally! I phoned Luke and we got over in record timing. The sense of relief
at this point was through the roof and I found a whole new burst of energy. I was taken
downstairs, and in the room was the midwife who I mentioned before. As awful as it
sounded, I really hoped she wasn’t going to be supervising me throughout my labour. She
was luckily just finishing her shift and completing handover. I ended up having a lovely
midwife, proper old school who was so lovely and nurturing. She examined me and told me I
was 6cm. Making slow but steady progress! Today I was supposed to be getting induced, but I asked if I could try using the gas and air and birthing pool for a while and see if things
would progress themselves. She agreed but said intervention still may be required at some
point which I was fine with.
I was moved into another delivery suite, where the birthing pool was. Soon after, there was
another change over as my midwife only worked mornings. I was introduced to a lovely
young midwife, and her student. Like I said before, I kept an open mind and was happy to
have a student be in the room. The next few hours flew by. I was in and out of the pool,
using the gas and air and was in the least amount of pain I had been for the last few days!
They had to intervene and break my waters at 8cm. This is where things got complicated.
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I’d been diagnosed with polyhydramnios, but had been
given the all clear at my final scan at 37 weeks. However, my body said otherwise as there
was a lot of water, and I mean a lot!
Before we knew it, the midwife announced I was at 10cm, but went to check with a senior
doctor about when it would be best time to start pushing, seeing as my labour had already
been going on for so long at this point. I was moved into the room opposite where the
resuscitaire was, so we were fully prepared. The senior doctor came in to see me, walking
round, just using the gas and air when a contraction came in and said there was no way I
was ready to deliver. Now, I’d never watched One Born Every Minute prior to having a baby,
but from what I’d heard, women are laying on the bed in agony, screaming when they’re
ready to have their baby. The staff kept saying “you’re doing amazingly well, you’re so calm”
but I was convinced it was just their way of motivating me. Turns out it wasn’t! Anyway, the
senior doctor examined me to inform me that I wasn’t 10cm dilated at all. I was 9cm at a
push. WHAT?! However, because I’d been so far dilated for so long, things needed to start
to happen quickly. She checked with HER superior and came back to tell me that they were
sending me down to theatre for a caesarean. Within a matter of minutes, I had signed the
consent forms, was gowned up, and my bloods had been sent off.
We messaged our parents at 6pm that we were on our way down to theatre. Our baby boy
would be here very soon! We just had to wait for the bloods to come back ok. We waited,
and waited. They apparently hadn’t received them. They were found, and I eventually
walked into the theatre, very nervously, whilst Luke had to wait outside almost an hour and
a half later. The staff, especially the anaesthetist were amazing, and were great at calming
me down as they could clearly see the anxiety had hit. I was given a spinal block and was put
on the table. Because we’d had to wait for so long, the surgeon did one last examination,
because if I had fully dilated at this point, it would have been safer to deliver naturally. I
obviously wasn’t, so they went ahead with the procedure and before I knew it, our gorgeous
baby boy was in my arms. 7:45pm on Friday 20 th April 2018 weighing 7lb 13oz. Rory
Sebastian Davies. Our son. He was here! The pain and lack of sleep I had endured was all
worth it and already forgotten about. I just lay there holding him in my arms and smiling at
him. He was already so alert, with his eyes wide open. His huge gorgeous eyes are still
always commented on.
I was wheeled into recovery and spent a few hours just the three of us in a private room. It
was bliss. We Facetimed our parents, took loads of photos and just sat cuddling and looking
at our beautiful little boy. When I was ready to be taken up onto the main ward, it was too
late for Luke to come with us, so we said our goodbyes, knowing he’d be back soon. He
went home that night much more relaxed and happier – the best night’s sleep he’d had for
a week too! The hardest part of that night was being totally helpless. Obviously I couldn’t
feel anything from the waist down, so had to buzz for the midwives to come and get him
out of his crib so I could feed him, and they had to change his nappies for me. The staff were
amazing but it just didn’t feel right that it wasn’t me doing it. The night passed in a blur,
with a combination of me dosing and just staring at Rory sleeping, checking he was still
breathing every 2 minutes!
The next morning, I noticed this bag on the floor next to me collecting fluid like a drain. I
assumed that all women had one of these after a caesarean. I didn’t know what it was.
Around lunchtime the next day, the midwives came round to remove my catheter, and help
get me out of bed. The doctor came to visit me too, and explained what had happened in
theatre. So firstly, he was back to back – I knew it! Secondly, the reason why I wasn’t
dilating and couldn’t deliver naturally is because Rory’s head was stuck at such an angle,
with his chin up that he couldn’t make his way through the birth canal. Thirdly, this tube
which found to be sticking out of me was a Robinson’s drain. Because Rory was in such an
awkward position, they had to tear a ligament on my left side to get him out. These drains
help remove the fluid but it was draining fine.
The rest of that day was spent with family members coming to visit us, and I had been told I
would be going home the next day, so I was feeling fine. It was just very difficult to get
around, and I soon knew when the morphine had worn off and I was due some more!
Sunday morning came, and I was told once I had had my drain removed and proved I could
shower, I would be able to go home. Despite what you read online, the removal of the drain
wasn’t painful. I’d been given morphine prior, and was just told to hold my breath. It was
done in a matter of seconds! I showered, got dressed and packed up the little space which
had become my little home and waited patiently for my discharge papers. It took a little
longer than expected, but armed with a bag full of medication, it was time to come home.
That’s when the real adventure started!
My top tips for your labour/hospital experience
Be flexible with your birthing plan. If you set your mind to definitely have/not have something, you can be setting yourself up to fail and even run the risk of putting yourself and your baby in danger. My midwife always called it ‘birthing preferences’ and I like that. Don’t feel like you can’t change your mind last minute when you’re in the heat of the moment!
A random one, but lip balm is a godsend if you use gas and air. Get one packed in your hospital bag.
Take lots of pictures of you with your baby. I don’t know if it was because I was out of it a lot, but I really didn’t want my picture taken for the thought of looking awful. I now regret not having more pictures of our hospital journey.
Thank you for reading!
Until next time,
Mommy Davies x