…Continued. If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, you can find it here.
So, we were ready to go and have my waters broken. Only delivery suite was really busy, so we were told we would need to wait and they would take us down ASAP. This was at 3/4 pm on Sunday 9th October. Come 8pm we were still waiting and unfortunately it was getting close to that time when Rob was no longer welcome on the ward.
Luckily the midwife on duty was very understanding of our circumstances and she was reluctant to send Rob home, knowing that I could be called down to delivery at any point to have my waters broken and get things progressing. So, very kindly they offered us the use of the disabled bathroom, glamorous I know! We obviously jumped at this offer. She told us there was a large bath in there and that we were more than welcome to stay in there until we were called for on delivery. It doesn’t sound perfect, but it was perfect for us, in that moment.
Rob and I settled ourselves into the bathroom and ran a deep, hot bath, which I gladly climbed into and welcomed the warm water on to my now tired, aching body. My contractions at this point were strong and getting closer together, but still not regular in any way. Rob settled down in a chair next to the bath and we just chatted…we chatted about anything and everything, and it was pure bliss. He held my hand through each contraction and we laughed with each other. It was honestly one of the most serene and beautiful moments, and we both look back on this time together as a great memory. We were both suddenly much more relaxed about the whole situation. Knowing that Rob didn’t have to go home was a huge relief for me…and we were both so ready for our baby to join us.
After we had debated boy’s names (for about the hundredth time that day!) and finally settled on a choice of two…I felt my waters break at around 11pm. Yes, that’s right, they broke without intervention and I am to this day convinced it was due to our relaxed demeanor and most definitely due to the water. I had always wanted a water birth, but had that choice taken away when given an induction, so this bath was a happy compromise that we were very grateful for.
I told Rob that I was pretty certain my waters had broken, and after us laughing about not being able to truly tell because I was surrounded by water, we called the midwife to let her know. The only way for her to confirm my waters were broken was to examine me, so we agreed that I would get out of the bath and head back to the ward where she could examine me and see what happens next. As soon as I got out of the bath, my contractions seemed to worsen, a sure sign to me that water is amazing…but also that something was definitely happening now! I had a quick loo stop, and found I had now lost my mucus plug too. I struggled back to the ward with Rob assisting me and as the midwife examined me, she told us that I was 5cm, my waters had definitely broken and that our baby had a full head of hair! The emotions that rushed over me in that moment are incomprehensible, I just cannot tell you how I felt at that time, there are no words that do it justice. I then threw up!
They got me a wheelchair and whizzed us down to delivery ASAP at that point, Rob laden with all the bags and we were directed into a little room with a very friendly midwife called Jackie and a student doctor, who we agreed could stay. This next part of my labour is all a bit of a blur to be completely honest. The contractions, since my waters broke were much more intense and getting stronger all the time. I was sat in a chair and given the gas & air, which I loved!! Jackie offered me some other drugs, I had always said I would like to avoid them if possible, however she suggested some diamorphine and assured me it would wear off by the time the baby was ready to come. At the time it was incredible and it really helped. To the point though, in which I actually can’t remember the next part of my labour. I have a blank of about 2-4 hours in which I was so drugged up that I cannot piece together what was happening. It was a great pain relief but unfortunately for me, it also numbed my sense of control. Rob tells me that during this time I was like a different person and that I was talking absolute nonsense, at one point I was even talking about Donald Trump! Now he is definitely not someone that anyone should be talking about whilst in labour. I won’t go as far as saying I regret having the drug, but I do wish I had had more control and memory of such a huge part of my labour.
Come roughly 7am, Jackie confirmed that I was fully dilated and that it was time to start pushing. There was still some confusion as my contractions were still not regular, but there was absolutely no doubt that they were strong and this baby was ready to make his/her appearance. Or so we thought anyway!
During this next part of my labour I got sent to attempt to empty my bladder, something that only a women who has been there would understand is near impossible at this point. I just could not get myself into a position on the toilet to be able to have a wee. The pain of moving into this position was unbearable and I definitely did not want my baby being born on the loo!! Rob attempted to help me as best he could, but it was just not happening and I was becoming quite distressed about the situation. Jackie decided to fix a catheter and emptied my bladder for me. It was also apparent that I had developed a high temperature during my labour, so I was put onto antibiotics to help bring this down.
After 2 hours of pushing and not getting anywhere more and more people started creeping into the room. My legs were in stirrups and my vision was just straight forward the whole time…it was a case of people’s heads just appearing between my legs and talking to me at different times. I was of course exhausted at this point and the more people who seemed to be joining us in the room, the more anxious I was beginning to feel about what was happening. Finally it was confirmed that the baby’s heart rate was dropping, likely due to stress and that he/she had done a poo, again due to stress. This was a concern for them and so they wanted to move me to theatre.
How could I say no, they just told me that my baby was getting distressed and I was exhausted. When I agreed I had been pushing for a total of 2.5 hours and I just couldn’t keep it up any longer.
We were taken to theatre, Rob was provided with scrubs and I had to sit on the side of the operating table to have the spinal block administered. This, for Rob, was the worst part of the whole event. He said the needle was huge and it suddenly all felt extremely scary and much more serious. He was suddenly scared for our baby’s life, but also for mine. Well, only our baby could then make the whole experience even more difficult. Whilst lying without any feeling from my torso down, surrounded by about 20 people, they manually turned our baby, it turns out the little monkey was back to back. They got the forceps out the packet and as they went to attach them, our baby turned back meaning they could no longer by attached. They quickly re-assessed and decided without any further delay to perform an emergency c-section.
At 10:31am our baby was born via c-section, it was my biggest wish that Rob was the first to know what we had, boy or girl, and that he would be the one to tell me. He looked me in the eyes and told me we had a beautiful baby girl. We both welled up and agreed at that moment that we had a beautiful baby girl called ‘Ivy’. All the chaos happening around us at that moment seemed so insignificant as they placed Ivy on my chest for the first time and I got to hold our baby girl. That moment was absolutely priceless and one that I will never ever forget. We had our baby, she was perfect and happy and we couldn’t have been any happier if we tried. We were on cloud 9.
Because of the high temp I had run during my labour, this meant that Ivy had to be taken off and fully examined very soon after her birth. But not before I had been moved and given the chance to offer her first feed. She latched on beautifully, first time and I felt every sense of achievement as I fed my baby…and then she was taken, for almost 2 hours and we didn’t realise, but would have a long week stay in hospital because of it. But none of that mattered, our baby was here, our little Ivy had made it into the world and she was ours; perfect, beautiful, everything we had dreamed of…and she was ours!
I have found it so therapeutic to finally write this all down, hopefully you enjoyed the read. If anyone has any questions about Ivy’s birth, please do get in contact.