Beautiful Births #24 - Nadine's Hospital Birth Story

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 Nadine from Then I Became Mum is sharing her birth experience. It is quite an adventure!

My pregnancy had kept me on my toes from the very beginning. At 10 weeks, I was diagnosed with a Pulmonary Embolism meaning that I instantly became a high risk pregnancy. I was put onto anticoagulants and began seeing a haematologist and consultant on a regular basis.

At 37 weeks, on the night I finished work for maternity leave, I was admitted to hospital for irregular bleeding. Sod’s Law! After confirming that baby was okay, I was discharged after refusing to be induced. Part of me did not like the idea of forcing my baby out before he was ready, the other part of me was looking forward to my baby free days before his arrival!

Then came the weeks of Braxton Hicks and false alarms. Until finally, the day came.

It was 4am and 3 days over my due date when I was woken with an overwhelming urge to wee. This wasn't an unusual occurrence as I had spent the last two months waking at Crazy O'clock to empty my bladder. However, this time was different. My waters had broken. I woke my husband in a panic and all of those weeks I'd spent Googling "labour" went out of my head, and I hit panic stations. I had no idea what to do!

My husband suggested that I ring the midwife and ask for advice. The midwife threw question after question at me and then came to the conclusion that due to my medical history and the fact that my waters had broken, I needed to come into hospital.

Once arriving at the hospital, the midwife explained what was going to happen and took us to a private room. By this point, it was 8am. She gave me Codeine, checked me and delivered the disappointing news that I was only 3cm dilated. Naively, I thought I was well on my way to having the baby! She suggested that I take a bath to ease the contractions and she would check me again later. I never left that bath until she turfed me out hours later!

After some time and several checks, the midwife decided that I wasn't dilating quick enough so I was sent packing with the instructions to return at 8pm that night or 'when the contractions were so bad that I couldn't talk between them'. Once home, I set about trying to kill time by trying to sleep. The contractions were getting gradually worse but they were so inconsistent, it was impossible to time the seconds between each one. Whilst laying down we noticed that my stomach had two "pregnancy" bumps. Being first timers, we thought nothing of it and joked that I was giving birth to Mr Blobby. We assumed that the baby was in an awkward position so he was protruding in two places of my stomach.

By 2pm, I was in a lot of pain when stretching out or standing up. This felt different to my other contractions. The regular contractions were, dare I say it, bearable. This pain was breathtakingly painful. But again, we were new to this so thought this must be the contractions getting worse. I must have managed to fall asleep as some point as I woke up to another stabbing pain. As I got up to try to walk around, I suddenly got an overwhelming urge to push. No matter how much  I tried to stop myself, I had no control. My body had a mind of its own! At this point, I was conflicted. My instinct told me that something wasn't right, as I felt as if I was going to push the baby out, but my instructions from the midwife had been that I shouldn't be able to talk between contractions and I was talking fine. After some persuading from my husband, I decided to call and speak to a midwife, who asked us to come back in.

When we got to the hospital at 6pm, I was no longer able to stand as the pain I had been experiencing had become unbearable so I had to be moved by wheelchair. The only way I can describe that pain is that it felt like my insides were ripping. Again, I was taken to a private room and a midwife came to see me. She looked at my stomach, concerned, and asked when I'd last been to the toilet. Now that I'd thought about it, I hadn't been since 4am and I had been drinking a lot to keep hydrated. She inserted a catheter and there was the problem. That second bump had been my very, very swollen bladder! The baby had been pressing against my urethra. After that, the pain became so much easier to bear!

Afterwards, I was examined again and it was found that I had actually dilated to 9cm whilst at home. Pretty impressive for just a few Codeine pills! And it wasn't long before I was 10cm and the time had come to push.

I won't go into the nitty gritty of active labour but the whole thing took around 2 hours, an episiotomy, failed cannulas, and some sort of contraction inducing drug since my contractions slowed right down an hour in! It was one of the most exhausting things I have ever had to do but at 11:40pm, my little boy came into the world safe and sound, a healthy 7lb10. He was perfect!

Not satisfied with the dramas so far, I then decided to give everybody the biggest fright. After gorgeous cuddles with my little one, a strange feeling came over me. I was suddenly losing consciousness! I remember my Mum shouting for the midwife and that's about it. It turned out that my blood pressure was extremely low and I had lost a lot of blood. This bought me 4 days in hospital and a blood transfusion!

Despite the awful days that followed, the most important thing was that my little boy was doing great!

It's surprising what you can actually accomplish when you set your mind to it. Never in a million years did I think I could get through labour pains with only a smidgen of pain relief, nor did I think I would ever have so much determination throughout labour. Now, I think I'm ready for our next chapter!

You can read more beautiful birth stories here.

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