At 16 and with a due date of November 22nd 2006 I had planned a natural birth, ideally no drugs, gas and air and the pool if possible. It didn’t work that way!
J first attempted to make an attempt at entering this world at 35 weeks. I wasn’t convinced I was in labour as only had back pain, my Mum and J’s dad however thought otherwise and after my Mum rung the hospital I walked out of the loo to find them both by the door with the hospital bags!
Guess I didnt have a choice! When I was examined in hospital I was 3cm’s and decided I wanted to go home to labour naturally. I got in the bath at home and my waters broke. I spent that night at home in agony on the sofa and pottering around downstairs with my mum while J’s dad got some z’s. By the morning the contraction side of the back pain had stopped and I was simply in agony. We returned to the hospital and explained that my waters had broken but now the contractions had stopped. They arranged a scan and declared there was a significant amount of water still there so they had only partially gone.
The next month was a complete blur for me. I was in agony. I have never experienced such pain. I only had to move my toe and it sent shooting pains through my back. I couldnt move. I could barely walk. It was terrible. Eventually at 37 weeks we saw the top consultant at the hospital, having been back and forth for two weeks and he agreed that if I hadnt delivered by 39 weeks he would induce me. Two weeks. That was all I had to get through. (He was convinced I would deliver before as J was so low down and engaged and due to going into labour before)
At 39 weeks I appeared back and reluctantly some SHO booked me in for the Sunday evening, 19th November. I was SO relieved to finally know we would be all go.
Sunday evening we arrived and I was given the gel which immediately had the effect of making my “lady parts” feel like they were being burnt off! As well as starting the back pain up x10 from what it had been, at 10pm my Mum and J’s dad had to go home so I pottered around the ward, back and forth from the loo, read, fidgetted, walked some more … everything but sleep! I couldnt get comfortable so sleep wasnt going to be an option that was simple. No matter how many times the midwife told me to sleep it wasnt going to happen.
At 6am I was examined and at 4cm so I was now able to move to labour ward, I rung my Mum and her and J’s dad arrived in record time! I dont want to know what speed she did to get there!! I couldnt face food and skipped breakfast. I pottered about some more in the room I had been placed in, with three other women. Around 11 they broke the remainder of my waters. I then had pethadine and really remember very little after that. It didnt work well for me and I felt as high as a kite and declared that I wanted to jump out the window … god only knows why! Around 3 I thought I needed the loo before realising in fact I needed to push, this was whilst still in the same room as 3 other women! The midwifes dragged me (I couldnt walk due to the back pain) to the labour room where the contractions promptly stopped!
No matter what the midwifes suggested it was not possible to get the contractions started again so after the doctor had examined me and I had threatened to kick him in the nuts if he didnt remove his hand it was reccomended I have a epidural … the thought scared me shitless and after half an hour of the consultant anaethatist trying to get me to agree, well I’ve never moved so fast! The bed was whizzed into theatre. All I remember was screaming in agony as they positioned me to do the epidural, my back felt like it was breaking and as they moved my legs and back so I was curled on my side I remember my mum with tears in her eyes seeing her little girl in so much pain and then as if my magic the pain was gone! I immediately apologised to everyone in the room I had been rude to (except my Mum, she loves to point that out!) they started trying to deliver J by ventouse but during the second push he went into distress and so a C-Section was decided upon. I fell asleep. Or maybe it was unconciousness, I dont know. Either way I remember very little. I dont really remember hearing J cry or anything. I know they told me I had a son and I asked “Is that a boy?” … yes I really was that out of it! I remember my Mum next to me holding him and then I remember hearing a doctor say “That doesnt look right” and me thinking … oh shit this is not good!
At this stage I should point out having cut me open they now attempted to stitch me up shall we say the “normal” way when they discovered that I dont have a “normal” anatomy! They quickly realised my bladder had been cut open at the same time as it had been attached to my left uterus and that my uterus were two seperate ones. J had been in the right. Eventually after 2hrs 30mins I was stitched up, the anaethatist was trying to get me to talk to them and I was cold, really cold. I kept shaking and shivering. I could see concern on his face. No matter what they put over me I was shaking and cold.
My body was going into shock.
My heart rate starting to rise.
They layed J on the bed next to me whilst they moved me to HDU, I vaugely remember looking at him wondering if he was really mine.
I dont remember much of the next stage. I know I opened my eyes and was surrounded by doctors and midwifes (always a bad sign), I was clotting and the doctor had to remove these by hand … yeah … that HURT like a bitch! My heart was nearing 300bpm and the Doctors knew if it went much higher they were gonna lose me. My Dad and Brother had arrived and took J out of the room along with J’s dad so that Mum could focus on me. Eventually after numerous drugs which werent working on my heart they finally found one that did. It felt like a bus had his me in the chest! I’ll never forget that feeling. It was horrid.
After that again I dont remember any more until the middle of the night when I awoke to Mum snoozing beside me and my baby in a crib next to me with a lovely backdrop of the heart rate monitor which I eventually realised was attached to me! By now morphine had been given and I was HIGH, I felt on top of the world! I could’ve taken on Muhammed Ali as far as I was concerned. However my midwife argued differently. I was flat on my back and strapped to numerous machines. I remember staring around thinking hmmm this doesnt look so amazing! As well as looking at J and my now flat stomach trying to piece together how that had happened and how a baby was suddenly there.
Theres so much more I could say as that wasnt the end of it unfortunately and after J had a stint in NICU and 7 days in hospital we eventually went home, J fit and well, Mummy battered and bruised and not in a brilliant way.
BUT we both survived. I struggled with PND mainly because I couldnt remember J being born. I would have flashbacks of me screaming in agony at different times. It was hard not knowing what had happened. My Mum knew, she was there, she saw it ALL, however she was to traumatized to talk about it,I understood that but it made it no easier for me not knowing what had happened to me. Why I was bruised in so many places? Why did I remember that little thing? Did it all really happen?
2 years on I got all my answers finally and even then it involved alot of tears from both me and mum.
It wasnt an experience I would like to repeat. However my gynaecologist assures me it wont happen that way again. … .he thinks.
If you liked this post check out the Birth Stories Carnival over at And 1 More Means 4 when its posted on the 12th April.