I absolutely love reading birth stories as every experience is so unique, and 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 beautiful birth stories with me, too. If you’d like to share your birth story, send me an email or get in touch via Twitter or Facebook.
Today Becka from Love, Becka is sharing her birth experience. She shares a few similarities with my my first son's birth, having started off sponteneously but needing interventions towards the end.
Hello guys, I'm Becka from Love, Becka. Although I've published Sophie's birth story quite in depth on my own blog, it was written back when my emotions were still high and she was but a tiny newborn. So when I saw Sian's series on Birth Stories I jumped at the chance to rewrite Sophie's with the added help of hindsight now that some time has passed.
Sophie was due to arrive on Friday 8th April, I'd had a sweep on the Tuesday before as she was showing no real signs of moving along yet and I was really ready to meet my baby. I hadn't actually read much about labour so wasn't aware of the warning signs or what to look out for. When I had my sweep done Sophie was engaged but they quickly told me that babies can be engaged for weeks before they show any signs of arrival. They gave us a leaflet on going overdue and I tried my best to stay calm and positive.
I hope that James won't mind my saying that we had an argument on the morning of Friday 8th, I was getting tiny twinges but nothing to write home about. However because he didn't shout from the rooftops and react how I'd pictured, I got the hump with him and actually went out for a drive to McDonalds to clear my head, get something to eat and calm down a bit. I got about half way there when I started to use my car's onboard computer to time how often I was getting these twinges. I'll state for the record now that I don't condone driving at even the slightest hint of labour however I barely noticed half of them and they were 7 minutes apart, plus they didn't even hurt.
When I got back we decided to get everything 100% prepared, repack and fuel the car and took our Dog over to my Grandparents so that they could look after him whilst we were in hospital. On our way home we got a Chinese as the only spicy dish I could think of was Schezuan Beef to try and speed things along and I headed up for an early night. James slept downstairs as by this point I was tossing and turning and it was difficult for me to get comfortable. We knew that things would be happening soon so he wanted to get an undisturbed night of sleep, preempting that he wouldn't get much for the next few days!
I woke myself in the early hours of the morning grimacing in pain, they were still 6 minutes apart but by 5am I had to wake James to comfort me through each one. He ran me a bath with candles, calming music and the works which managed to calm me down for around an hour or so. I got out at 6am and lay on the bed with him, trying to dose in between the pains until 8.30am when it all got too much and we called the labour ward. They warned us that I didn't sound far enough along but told us to pop in anyway. After two hours of getting the house absolutely perfect, including washing and drying that one mug in the sink, we left for the hospital. They measured me and I was 3cm dilated, the pains weren't getting any closer but they were certainly growing in strength. I resided that we'd have to go home (plus I was getting bored) and back off we trotted.
Once we got home we managed to nap on the sofa for two hours together, waking at around 4pm. By this point I could barely move, everywhere was uncomfortable and the pains were really taking their toll. I could feel my body was getting tired and I was getting fed up of it taking so long. I remember Amy tweeting that I'd been quiet and tried to fob her off that nothing was happening, but I'm not sure if she believed me! We tried another bath at around 6pm but I only lasted minutes before being too uncomfortable and writhing around in pain. I lay in bed in just my towel unable to get even remotely comfortable which James tried his best to nap and recoup some energy.
At 8pm I rang my Mum to come to my house, we'd just rung the hospital again who still didn't want to know as the contractions were still 6 minutes apart and I wanted to give James a break. She was only a few miles into her journey when I rang to say change of plan, meet us at the hospital! Mum was never part of my birth plan and if I had my time again, I wouldn't have caved and called her. But that's a post for another day. We arrived at the hospital at 8.30pm and needless to say, our house was not left tidy this time! I was in my pyjamas as I couldn't bare to feel clothes on my bump and I had to keep stopping to lean on cars with each contraction.
Contractions grew stronger, but no closer together and it took me until midnight to reach 4cm dilated and be allowed my epidural. I had to have a fairly strict birth plan because of my heart condition so it was epidural, rest and then a minimal amount of time pushing. We all managed to sleep from around 3am until about 7am I believe, although James slept a little longer whilst Mum looked after me. My contractions were still measuring as early far apart, although I could no longer feel them. My sister was running her first marathon that day and I text her before she started to say "race you to the finish line!". She finished her marathon and Sophie seemed to have missed the starting gun as I wasn't even allowed to push yet. My waters were still intact but I seemed to spring to 10cm dilated really quickly. I asked Mum to leave as I started pushing so that it was just James and I when Sophie entered the world and at around 12pm, I started to get the urge.
What seemed like hours passed, although it was only around two, I was put in different positions that I personally didn't want to be in and eventually they said that Sophie had become stuck. No matter how they contorted my body, she couldn't make her way round the birth canal and they'd have to try forceps. Consent forms for c-sections and the like were pushed in front of my face and it's safe to say I would have signed anything to get Sophie here safely. They attempted forceps in the delivery room but to no avail, so I was whisked into theatre where they tried again. All I can remember is feeling like my bottom half felt like it was being pulled off and James wincing as they tried to get Sophie out.
Within what seemed like minutes they admitted defeat and said it would have to be a caesarean, fine, whatever, just get her out. I've never seen James so pale and I just focused on his face whilst trying to ignore the tugging on my stomach. Sophie was born at 4.33pm, they brought her to my face so that I could kiss her head and then taken to be cleaned up and James cut her umbilical cord. Next they lay her on my chest whilst I presume they sorted out the placenta and what not. Before I knew it James was whisking her off whilst they stitched me up. I have to say that was the longest 40 minutes of my life. My newborn daughter was taken from me, I was still being pumped full or drugs and I no longer had my support by my side. I felt so scared and alone and that's when all of the emotions hit me. I felt so jealous that James and Sophie was together and it felt so unfair that I was laid on an operating table alone.
I lost a good amount of blood meaning that we had to stay in hospital for a few days and I had blood transfusions. Because of my heart condition Sophie was thoroughly checked and had an ECG done at just one day old. Luckily James is extremely diplomatic and managed to wangle us a private room after the first night otherwise I was threatening to discharge myself! We left at around 10pm at night, which is something I would advise anyone and everyone against!
Next time will be a planned caesarean and 7 months on, I've come to terms with that. I hope to ask if James and baby can remain with me whilst I'm sewn back together and obviously it won't be anywhere near as terrifying. In the 7 months since Sophie was born and I first wrote my birth story, I've also realised that I truly didn't have it that badly. At the time I thought the world was so unfair but in reality, we are just so lucky that she arrived safely. It's not how I planned for it to go and now I'll have a scar for life, but she's a healthy and happy baby girl and that's all that really matters.
Love, Becka x
I can really empathise with the emotions that Becka felt after her birth experience, it can seem incredibly unfair when things don't go smoothly. I'm glad that Becka has come to terms with her experience though as that can often be hard to deal with. And aren't these photos of Sophie utterly gorgeous! Thank you for sharing with us, Becka.
You can read more beautiful birth stories here.