My First Birth Story: Emergency C-Section

My contractions started at about 7.00pm on Friday and my waters broke at about 10.30pm the same night. Ian was at work so at about midnight when he got home we went to hospital where a midwife confirmed that my waters had broken (there was no doubt that they had as it felt like someone had thrown a bucket of warm water at me!) but I wasn’t yet in established labour, so I was sent home. The midwife said I should be in established labour by morning but I was booked in for an induction the following evening just in case, as there is a risk of infection if your waters have been broken for longer than 24 hours. So off home we went, where I spent the night breathing through my contractions and timing them; the midwife said that once I was having 3-4 in every 10 minutes I would be classed as in established labour. I fell asleep at around 5.30am…



…and woke up at 8.30am to find that my contractions had stopped completely! I spent all of Saturday walking around the flat, down on all fours rotating, and walking up and down the stairs. My contractions finally started again at around 3.30pm and they stayed regular, but not close enough for established labour, for the rest of the day and into the evening. I was asked to go back to hospital at 8.30pm to be induced but as I was contracting I couldn’t be induced with a pessary. I was instead put on the labour ward with some paracetamol and a temazepam to help me sleep and again told I should be in established labour by morning. Well guess what…

…at 8.30am on the Sunday my contractions stopped again! By now my waters had been broken for well over 24 hours so I was taken down to a delivery suite in the consultant-led unit to be induced by drip. Before starting the induction the midwife asked me if I had considered pain relief and recommended a shot of morphine. Being naive I said, “oh no, I’ll use my breathing techniques and see how I get on.” Silly me!

The induction was started and shortly after the contractions started, Noah's heartbeat plummeted. The drip was stopped until a doctor could see me, however he said to carry on. The drip was gradually increased and the contractions got stronger and more painful. They were so much more intense than my own contractions and I struggled to recover after each one, it felt like I had no time to catch my breath. I had a dose of morphine but it did nothing. I was then given entenox which just made me feel dizzy so by the time I was 4cms dilated I was begging, pleading, crying for an epidural. The whole time the baby's heartbeat had continued to dip and the possibility of an emergency c-section was mentioned.

Once the epidural took effect the drip was cranked up and within an hour I was 9cms dilated. Noah's heartbeat was still dipping and then the monitor just stopped detecting anything at all. The doctor said that the monitors are only 50% accurate so a blood sample was taken from the baby to confirm whether or not he was in distress. The test showed that he was and by then I was 10cms dilated so theoretically ready to push. At this point I think the shot of morphine had decided to kick in as things started to feel dream-like for me.

The baby needed to be born NOW. The doctor said he would use a kiwi-cup – a small sucky thing that attaches to baby’s head – to try to help deliver the baby. With each contraction I was to push as hard as I could and he would pull. It’s really hard to push when you’ve had an epidural as you don’t know you’re having a contraction, the midwife had to tell me when to push. Things seemed really panicky in the delivery suite – everyone was shouting at me to push, there seemed to suddenly be lots of people in the room and people were talking about getting ready for theatre. After three contractions the baby still wasn’t born so suddenly I was being wheeled out of the delivery suite – a c-section it would be.

I thought the c-section would be like you seen on One Born Every Minute; they get the babies out in minutes. Not in my case! As soon as they started the incision I had an arterial bleed so they had that to fix before they could even start on the baby. Then things got really scary. I could feel weight and pressure all over my abdomen and the surgeons saying they couldn't get my baby out. Apparently the kiwi-cup had pulled the baby so far down into my pelvis that they now couldn't get him out via the incision. One surgeon was trying to push him back up – yep, up my girly bits - while the other was trying to pull him out. They swapped positions and still couldn't get him. Ian was sitting by my head crying his eyes out and all I could hear were these alarms going off. The room was so full, there were 10 medical staff in there with us at that point.

Ian said that a midwife was shouting for Mr M to be paged. Mr M came in and Ian said he was completely calm. He made an extra incision – I later read in my notes that it was a “J” incision in the uterus – and got the baby out in minutes. The baby was in cephalic lie which is normal and so should have been delivered head first. But due to him basically being stuck he was delivered by his hips, as if he was a breech baby. More trauma for him!

I'm told that my baby took a while to stimulate, and his notes showed his APGAR score was 2-9 – he scored 2 at 1 minute old which is not good at all, but scored 9 by 5 minutes which is great. I didn't know he was taking a while to recover as I was so out of it after the morphine and two epidurals, and then I went into shock. I didn’t know I was in shock, I thought I was shaking because I was cold. The anaesthetist who sat with me through the whole thing was telling me to calm down as my heart was racing at 145bpm. I've actually just remembered that they brought him over and laid him by my face while they were stitching me back up. My god, he was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. We weren't out of the woods yet, but after 46 hours, Noah was finally born weighing 7lb 8.5oz.

19 comments

  1. Wow. I cried whilst reading that. What an ordeal. I'm just so, so pleased that he was ok in the end. I hope writing it all down has helped you a bit... I'm sure you're still in shock now, even if you've stopped shaking! xx

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    1. It's taken a good few weeks to come to terms with it all! xx

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  2. Oh my goodness so so so scary I don't know how you did it. I don't think I could have a baby, the idea that that could happen is just terrifying to me. Big massive hugs to you you brave girl! So glad you guys are both doing ok now. Xxxxx

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    1. Oh hun don't let it put you off! I think I was just really unlucky xx

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  3. Scary experience. My first was like this - waters broke, no labour, enduced, pushed him so far down and he wouldn't come out so c section and he was stuck, lost loads of blood etc etc, but alls good in the end and 11 years later he got into one of the top grammar schools in the country through his own efforts. Did him no harm. Your baby will be fine. And I went on to have two completely normal deliveries too so ....... Enjoy your precious bundle. Xx

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    1. It's awful that you experienced the same but reassuring to know you had two normal deliveries since then! xx

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  4. Crikey - I saw a few of your tweets to say you didn't have a plain sailing delivery, but this is horrific. However I am glad that both you and Baby N are doing ok. xx

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  5. Ok so I am reading this backwards chronologically so I knew it was fine but I was still in the drama of it all. Omg, you write really well by the way bc I now need a cup of tea. Xx

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  6. Wow that sounds like such an awful labour for you, I would have been so scared. Has it taken you a long time to recover from it all? I'm due in August with my second, my little girl Abi her labour was only three and a half hours and 5 weeks early am hoping this one will be a quickie too, you just never know it's so unpredictable xx

    Following from
    http://emilymodernmummy.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I was really scared. I think physically it took me about 2 months to recover, mentally I'm still recovering. Some days I think I'm okay and then it all comes flooding back xx

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  7. Omg, that sounds like my worst nightmare! Im due to give birth in 10 weeks time and i'm kind of scared & probably shouldn't of carried on reading this when things got a little tough... but i did. But congratulations you! :)

    xx

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    1. Oh hun don't be scared! I was unlucky, I'm sure you will be absolutely fine xx

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  8. Oh gosh, totally not the blog post for an expectant mummy to be to read - Whoops! Though hearing he was okay after all that helps, fingers crossed your next will be a smooth birth, poor little baby N

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  9. Emergency sections are so scary, I was petrified during mine. But you came through it and you will be stronger for it. Best wishes x

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  10. I was in tears reading that. I think it's a blessing that the drugs can make us a bit out of it. So glad everything was ok in the end.

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  11. Oh Sian - I've just re-read this again. What a nerve wracking and horrible experience - it really is a lot like mine (except I only got to 4cm) especially the AGPAR scores x

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  12. This was so sad to read. You are amazing.thank you for sharing this info and your experience. Glad everything turned out for the best.

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