I love reading birth stories! After sharing my own two very different birth experiences [emergency c-section and natural VBAC] I decided to ask other mums and dads to share their wonderful birth stories with me too. I’m absolutely delighted that so many people want to share with me! If you’d like to share your birth story, send me an email or get in touch via Twitter or Facebook.
This week the very lovely Kerrie is sharing the birth story of her gorgeous second daughter, Poppy, who was born at home weighing an impressive 10lb! Kerrie and Poppy were transferred to hospital soon after birth - read her story to find out what happened.
Tell me your beautiful birth story…
My first daughter was born in a midwife led unit. It was pretty quick and straightforward and we were home a few hours later, so when I got pregnant 2nd time I knew I wanted a homebirth. My pregnancy was straight forward enough (bar bad morning sickness/ hyperemesis but I was expecting that!) My bump got pretty big but I never measured over dates...
The day before my due date I had a check with my midwife and she was happy to go ahead and do a stretch and sweep as I was already having mild niggley contractions. That night I couldn't settle very much and knew it was starting to happen. At 5am the next day I started having regular contractions so phoned my mum to pick up my eldest daughter once she woke and phoned the midwife. I was happy and managing well on my birth ball, rocking and using my tens machine.
By the time the midwife got to us it was getting more intense, she examined me and I was 6cm, I was so impressed as I had only managed to 3cm in my first labour without needing gas and air. She got all her stuff in and I started on gas and air. I quickly progressed to 9cm but stuck there for quite a while, it was then decided they were going to break my waters and as they did my cervix popped to 10 and it was time to push!
I was on my knees leant against the sofa and everything was going perfectly, until her head was born. The midwife quickly realised Poppy hadn't turned herself and was shoulder dystocia, (where the baby's anterior shoulder gets stuck under the pubic bone, a dangerous condition as it compresses the umbilical cord). An ambulance was called immediately and the midwives and my husband dragged me across the room to get me into a position where my legs were bent upwards and outwards to open my pelvis to try and free Poppy.
They had to do an episiotomy (with no pain relief..!) Luckily it worked and nearly 4 minutes after her head was born the rest of her came out. She was blue, floppy and unresponsive but had a strong heart rate. The midwives started bagging her to try and get her breathing. The ambulances and crew were already with us and they took her and blue lighted her to the John Radcliffe, the second ambulance waited for my placenta to deliver and then I was taken into hospital too.
Poppy suffered birth asphyxiation and HIE (Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy) she was taken to neonatal intensive care where she was placed onto a 72 hour cooling treatment where they wrap a fluid filled mat around the baby and keep them at 34 degrees to give the brain and organs time to repair themselves after being starved of oxygen. She had probes and wires just about everywhere monitoring every aspect of her. Once she was warmed up again they took most of these away and she was allowed home on day 5 after they were confident she was doing okay.
She has since had a brain MRI, additional hearing tests and check ups with her consultant at the JR, all have come back fine and she's doing everything she should be and more at nearly 1 year old. They thought she could have some brain or organ damage, cerebral palsy or hearing loss… yet so far she has no ill effects.
People often ask me if I regret my homebirth because of the circumstances but it has only made me feel like the homebirth was even more right for us. I laboured well at home and was relaxed and in my own environment, I think the panic that would have happened at the hospital would have freaked me out and I'd not have been so productive in pushing. The shoulder dystocia could have happened anywhere and the outcome of treatment would have been the same. The birth has left its mark on with a touch of PTSD but for my happy healthy little girl it's so so worth it.
I am so glad to hear that little Poppy is doing so well after such a dramatic entry into the world. I can’t imagine how worried Kerrie must have been but it sounds like she was so calm throughout. Kerrie also mentioned that Poppy had donor milk during her stay in NICU which as readers know is something close to my heart. Thank you, Kerrie, for sharing your beautiful birth story!
You can read more beautiful birth stories here.