After Thursday’s cliffhanger, and finally coming to terms with the fact that I need to formula feed Bump (sorry its not “Breast is Best” it is “Fed is Best), I thought I would finish off Bump’s birth story. As with Part One, there is a health warning:
WARNING: This is Bump’s Birth Story. Expectant mum’s don’t read this and think “oh sh*t” this is going to happen to me. It won’t. Every birth is unique. We all have different pain thresholds. Every one progresses differently. Please, please, please, promise that if you are an expectant mum that you won’t read this and get scared.
Also sorry for the lack of pictures! There are lots of cute ones at the end as a reward for reading the whole post!
Birth Story Continued
Right how did we leave it? Oh yes, I had the urge to push and felt like I needed a huge poo and I was being told not to push!
It was at this point that the doctor spoke to me properly for the first time. Her evening wasn’t going to plan, there were six unplanned theatre procedures that evening. She explained that she had some serious concerns about Bump’s heart rate. It was decided that rather than use those bands you see on One Born (they are actually known as Continuous Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Monitors or CTG for short) it was best that they use a clip to monitor Bump. They put the clip into my lady parts and then attached it to Bump’s head.
Apparently there were two reasons why I needed the clip:
- to ensure they were correctly monitoring Bump’s heart rate and the contractions; and
- because I was “heavy” it is apparently standard procedure. I am not a size 6 but I wouldn’t have said that I am anything but average. I guess my height doesn’t help me (I am tiny) in terms of weight distribution.
Here is a diagram of what happens with the clip.
Yep its not the nicest but if it made sure Bump was ok, I didn’t care.
With that, the doctor was gone as the emergency alarm was sounded. This left S to insert the clip. S had some excellent news, despite the concerns with Bump’s heart rate I was now 6cm dilated! Fan-bloody-tastic. I could have jumped off the bed and given S a huge smacker on the lips. Except I couldn’t because, despite the gas and air, I was in so much pain and now had something inserted in through my lady parts!
8-9cm cm dilation- wohooo
Bump’s heart rate was monitored via the clip. What was becoming clear to W was that every time I felt the urge to push, Bump’s hear rate would drop down to about 50 beats per minute. Clearly this wasn’t right.
K and S were being fantastic. K was basically looking after me, she just sat beside me holding my hand and talking to me. I banished W to the chair except when I wanted a heat pack on my back. It was at those times that I would scream “get that f**king heat pack on my back”. I am quite ashamed at my swearing now but the pain was unbelievable.
S did a further examination. Oh she had more excellent news. This lady just seemed to deliver great news. I was 8-9cm dilated!!!!! W tells me that she pulled him aside and said “this baby is going to be here in the next 20 minutes or so”.
The message though was still not to push. I wasn’t fully dilated and I was damaging my cervix by pushing. I just remember K telling me that every time I felt the need to push, I should breath it out by trying to force my breath to the door of the room. W was a bit more blunt (bless him) “don’t push darling, if you do it is going to cause you issues”. Anyone who knows W will know that quote is the censored version!
The bad news about all of this was that the pain was unbelievable. K commented to W and S that the pain was so much for me that K’s fingers were being crushed where I was gripping them so tight.
K asked me if I wanted an epidural. Yes. Inside I was wondering why they hadn’t offered it hours ago! W and I had been clear when we discussed birth preferences that the epidural would be the last resort. I think we had both been slightly scared by the facts we were giving at our NCT class. By now though, I didn’t care! Just give me the drugs.
Give me the drugs
So epidural it would be. K told me that the epidural would make me a new woman. I hoped it did. K also said that her son had been ‘back to back’ and that the epidural would be the only thing to help.
W now tells me that, it was decided I would need an epidural partly so that they could ensure, should I need to go to theatre, they would not need to give me a general anaesthetic.
There was more bad news.
Bump was not improving at all. In fact his heart rate was dropping lower and lower. The anaesthetist was stuck in theatre along with the other doctor who had examined me earlier. It was therefore decided I would be given a drug to slow my contractions down. Remember S thought Bump would arrive in twenty minutes? Well by now we were an hour down the line and the contractions were coming thick and fast but no Bump. Time to slow the contractions down. W explained (having spoken to R the head midwife) that they were concerned we might need to go to theatre but that at the moment theatre was full. Hence, my contractions needed to be slowed for our safety. I had heard that midwives and doctors on labour wards are excellent at juggling beds/water baths etc., what I didn’t know was they were experts in managing theatre space.
As the anaesthetist was in theatre, the on-call consultant anaesthetist was called. She was at home fast asleep! The Eipdural takes thirty minutes to put in you and then another thirty to kick in. As such, it would be easily an hour (not factoring the doctor’s travel time) before I would be, hopefully, pain free.
Whilst we were waiting for the anaesthetist the doctor came out of theatre to examine me.
8-9cm dilation? Scrap that, this lady is only 5-6cm!
The doctor got to work. It was clear she was stressed. If I am honest she was rather brutal in handling my vagina! It was all rather painful.
“Who said this lady was 8-9cm dilated” she barked. S responded. What then followed was surreal. A slight disagreement about my dilation. The doctor felt I was only 5-6cm dilated. WHAT! Noooooooo. I think I may have, at this point, told the doctor to “piss off”.
The doctor explained that as I was only 5-6 cm this changed things. She told me that whilst I dilated fast, I had not progressed at all. There was a real danger that Bump was stuck. Coupled with his decreasing heart rate she was worried. She said the contraction slowing drug will help Bump as his heart rate only dropped when I was having contractions. So by giving me the drug that should make Bump happier for now. By this stage, I was so deep into labour that I had forgotten I was going to have a baby at the end of all this.
Now is the time for a birth plan!
A plan was hatched. I would be given the epidural. Bump would still be monitored by the cap. Once the doctor was free in the theatre they would then give me drugs to speed my contractions up again and to dilate me further. At that stage they would check Bump’s oxygen levels. All being well, Bump would arrive naturally.
Of course, whilst all this was going on, I was in pain. My memory is hazy and W has had to fill me in. I am glad that I was out of it whilst all this was going on! I really am.
How the hell though was I only 5-6cm dilated? S is hugely experienced, she has probably examined more vaginas than she has had hot dinners. She wouldn’t have got my dilation so wrong. Would she? Plus if I was in this much pain at only 5-6cm…..what was to come!
The most lovely anaesthetist
I will preface that statement above. I was out of it and I have never met another anaesthetist either. But sometimes you just click with people don’t you. How I can think I ‘clicked’ with someone during labour I don’t know but I did. Maybe it was the fact that she felt like a goddess to me. I mean she stopped all my pain after all!
Enter the anaesthetist, Dr R. She ran through all the formalities with me and spoke to W. Then she got to work. She was brilliant. Within 30 minutes I was a new woman. The picture of me in part one of my Birth Story was taken after the epidural was put into me. I felt amazing. I felt like I could go and do an Ironman. No scrap that, I could have done a marathon and broken Paula Radcliffe’s world record!
For the first time in six or so hours I was back in the land of the living. No pain. Just relaxed and chilled. Sure I could feel the odd twinge but all the pain had gone I know I have talked about kissing lots of women in my birth story but gee god I could have really kissed Dr R!
For the next hour or so I was monitored. Bump still wasn’t playing ball but we were sticking to the plan. My contractions would be accelerated, Bump’s oxygen levels would be taken and I would then push him out.
An hour passed. I felt really good. W was given the all clear to touch me! I also let him go to the toilet, bless him he was bursting having not been since 7pm and it was now 5am!
S and K got the room sorted for speeding up my contractions. The stirrups were attached to the bed. I had a further examination and S told me I was still at 8-9 cm in her view. The doctor also examined me and told me I was at 5-6cm still! You have to laugh about this disagreement. At that time it wasn’t funny but it is now!
The doctor then looked at Bump’s trace. I will never forget what she said to W. “I am not happy. The baby needs to come out now. Your wife needs a caesarean section. Do you consent?” W and I had said that we would do whatever the doctors told us. So it was a resounding yes.
At that point people descended on the room. W exited and returned moments later in scrubs! Bloody hell, this was happening. My birth preferences well and truly smashed. It would be an emergency Caesarean section.
Washing up in my stomach
The Caesarean is the strangest thing ever. You arrive in the bright lights of a theatre. People talking to you. You are being prodded. I remember one of the theatre nurses was called Penny also. I recall W asking for music to be put on. What the hell I remember thinking. Here I am about to go under the knife and all he wants to do is to have the radio on!
Lovely anaesthetist, Dr R, was with me administering my drugs. I didn’t need a general thanks to the epidural earlier. They then cut me open. I know I was because all of a sudden I heard lots of sucking and one of the doctors say “we need to get this blood out”. The next thing I saw was one of the surgeons rise up over the screen. W told me the reason for this is because she had her knee on the side of the operating table trying to pull Bump out. Whilst all this was happening it just felt like washing up in my stomach. It was the most surreal feeling in my life.
The silence of the operating theatre was broken by a cry. OMG……………………that cry was from my child. I burst into tears. I had done it. W stood up and looked over the screen (brave for him as he doesn’t like blood) and there he saw for the first time our child. K came over and put her arm around him and congratulated him. Funny thing is that W didn’t know what sex Bump was! W couldn’t see the identifying feature!! He then told me we had a little boy. I said “I knew it”. He then said a very hairy boy. I knew that as well!
The oddest thing then happened. W left me. He went over to cut Bump’s cord. It was just me and Dr R. I wanted to see Bump but I couldn’t.
After what felt like an eternity, W came back with Bump in his arms. My two favourite people in the whole world. The lovely W and the lovely Bump. My family.
Introducing our rainbow baby, Bump
I started crying again. Bump was our rainbow baby. A year earlier, in the same building, I had been told I had miscarried. Fast forward a year and I was now being presented my rainbow baby. He looked so amazing, so scummy, so gorgeous. The love I felt at that moment I can’t describe. What a rollercoaster but he was here all safe and healthy.
Bump was taken away again, K arrived and handed me a strawberry ice pop. Yep there I was being stitched back together sucking on an ice pop. I also had the strangest conversation with Dr R about sailing from Mallorca to Gibraltar!
The stitching up took forever. It was easily the longest part of the operation.
And here my lovelies, born at 5.50am weighing 8lb2 is Bump.
Toast and tea!
They stitched me back up and wheeled me back to the ward. I finally got some proper Bump time. Skin on skin. It felt amazing. The doctor came to see me to say that, with hindsight, they had made the best decision. Bump’s oxygen levels when they took him out were really low and he didn’t have much longer.
K gave me some toast and we had a good chat. K had her first child in the same operating theatre. We joked about that operating theatre being the birth place of all the best people in the world!
Just because I started part one with a pompous opening heading, I have decided to finish part two with an equally popmpus closing heading. I am well aware that using the word epilogue makes me sound like a tit but I don’t care.
I was clearly very lucky. My birth wasn’t what I would have chosen. But I was safe and healthy. Bump was safe and healthy. That was all that mattered. I lost a lot of blood, over 2 litres (which is more than 3 times the average for a C-section and about 50% of my total blood). I was healthy though and on cloud nine.
K and S had to go off shift shortly after we returned to the ward. They were amazing. Out of this world. K and S showed an amazing amount of love and care. They were sympathetic, humorous and professional all at the same time. In fact the whole team at The Royal Hampshire County Hospital were fantastic. K and S though went above and beyond. We will be forever grateful to them.