If you’ve not read part 1, click here to catch up!
Here we go again!
The shift changeover came and went. Our new midwife brought new energy to the room. She was fun and bubbly and kept our spirits high. There was no way the baby wasn’t arriving this time!
My contractions intensified and my midwife thought I was fully dilated. I’d been on the gas and air for a while and I was allowed to push! It was game time!
Sadly after a while it became clear that we weren’t getting anywhere. Our midwife called the consultant for a physical examination. In she came. All I’m going to say is, I’m sure in her spare time she must attend a boxercise class – you get the picture. She determined that I was in fact only 9.5cm dilated and as such should stop pushing. Due to the amount of time that had lapsed since my waters had broken we needed to consider a c-section. This was because of the potentially increased risk of infection.
The Big Epidural – Not as Scary as I’d Thought
Our only option in between was to have an epidural and see if I dilated to 10cm in the next hour. I accepted as the epidural is a two bird, one stone kind of thing. It would reduce my blood pressure and allow me to rest a little due to the pain relief.
I had been offered an epidural earlier on in the process due to its ability to reduce my blood pressure. At the time I was offered it, I was far too scared and believed that I could give birth without it. That fear turned out to be completed unfounded.
Then the anaesthetist came in and he made me laugh. I don’t know whether he was genuinely amusing or whether it was because I was slightly delirious! He said “this could take 4 minutes or 40, it’s up to you!” Was this a pep talk or a warning? Either way he was fabulous and put me right at ease.
As you can see there’s a running theme here of fabulous NHS staff.
I thought that setting up the epidural took the 4minutes he mentioned and felt like a trooper. Mike said it was longer than that and I hardly held still at all.
Who knows how long it was really but I’m going with the hero option of 4minutes!
I had, had moments of disbelief during my pushing phase where I felt like giving up but had managed to overcome them. I swiftly forgot and moved in to the next contraction.
A woman’s human body truly is amazing.
Pleasantly, the epidural surprised me by revealing how much strain my body had been feeling! I cannot tell you the relief I felt when it took effect. I had not realised just how exhausted I was.
The Eleventh Hour…Well the Run up to 4pm
We ended up having slightly more than the hour we’d been advised due to other emergencies. When the consultants came back I was still hopeful that they’d change their minds and that a c-section could be avoided.
Unfortunately, it was not be. Michael and I decided, alongside the doctors, that it was time to move forward with surgery.
Then we were quickly given some super attractive scrubs and briefed on what would happen.
I would be rolled in to the operating theatre where I would give my best performance.
Well actually, I’d just lay there and take whatever came my way.
I went in and Michael waited outside. That was a little unexpected. Being alone in the operating theatre without my partner in crime was scary. Even if it was just for a minute. Yet again the staff were very reassuring and made me feel at ease.
They numbed one side then tilted the table and numbed the other. Then the anesthetist checked I was numb using a freeze spray and a little tool that scratched me. It was surreal. As the drugs took effect I lost the sensation in my lower body.
Michael came back in and the doctors got to work. There were at least 10 staff members there with us and I felt completely safe in their hands. The lead anaesthetist kept talking to us all the way through with other people chiming in at various points.
Within 15 minutes our baby was born. One of the surgeons held the baby above the curtain and told us we had a boy. A beautiful baby boy.
He screamed and screamed and screamed and I couldn’t have been happier. I looked at Mike who was holding my hand and he simply said “we have a son”.
The most beautiful words.
Just like that we became even more of a family.
After our son was taken to have his tests his was then placed in Mike’s arms. I didn’t feel alert enough to have skin to skin at that point but I did not feel disappointed. He was safe in his Dad’s sturdy arms. Far better than my flimsy self at that point!
The rest of the hour was spent stitching me up. There were remarks about my ‘floppy’ uterus which at the time I thought was hilarious. Basically one side was contracting better than the other. I was given a drug to start contractions which made me want to vomit instantaneously, followed by a different drug to stop it.
At all times I felt so well looked after. Even as I was attempting to roll off the operating table to reach the sick bowl! I was definitely a little bit of a liability!
There you have it. My birth story.
It was long. There were ups and downs. There were drugs and tools. More than I could have ever anticipated and I simply could not be happier.
The staff looked after me impeccably. They gave Michael and I plenty of information and time to make decisions that affected my progress. The support and care was outstanding.
Our baby boy, Heath, arrived safely and screaming.
What more do you need for a positive birth story?
For more information about high blood-pressure during pregnancy, also known as Gestational Hypertension, click here.