I can’t quite believe it’s been 14 whole days since our little boy was born. Time really does fly when you’re having fun! Now all my hormones have calmed down, I can look back on his arrival without bursting into tears.
You might want to grab a mug of tea and a couple of biscuits, be warned, this is a long post!
It all started on Friday 8th February, I had noticed he hadn’t been as active during the day and he wasn’t really moving after I’d eaten or had a drink so I was getting concerned. Once hubby was home from work, I told him I was concerned and so we rang triage at the hospital and they said to go down to get checked out. As a precaution, hubby loaded my hospital bags in the car but I was hoping we really wouldn’t need to use them. At the hospital I was hooked up to the CTG machine and BabyShilts heartbeat was picked up and recorded on the print out. The midwife said she wasn’t too happy with the print out as his heartrate wasn’t really differentiating too much whereas it should be showing peaks and troughs. The consultant said he wanted me to repeat the CTG in the morning just to see if there was any difference but as I’d had reduced movements and I was over my due date they wanted to induce me on Sunday morning.
Saturday morning, hubby and I got up bright and early and we were back at the hospital for a repeat CTG. Again, BabyShilts heartbeat was picked up and the monitoring began. After about an hour, the midwife took me off the CTG and said that she had shown the consultant the print out who wasn’t too thrilled with the read out. They asked us to go away and have some lunch and come back in a couple of hours to again repeat the CTG. At this point, I was beginning to get concerned that there was a problem but figured that if there was, they wouldn’t have let me leave the hospital. We went away and got some lunch, popped home for some essentials (my own pillow and a comfy pair of pyjamas) just in case they decided to admit me after we went back.
Once we got back to the hospital, we had to wait for a couple of hours as triage was full of pregnant ladies but I mentioned to the midwife as she was passing that we had been asked to come back and within a couple of minutes we were shown onto a ward where they got the CTG machine out again. Within an hour, I was told that the consultant wasn’t happy with the print out so instead of being induced in the morning as planned, I might as well stay and they would start off the induction process.
I was given the first dose (of 3) of Prostin gel and was told to let nature take its course and wait for something to happen. I was hooked up to the CTG machine again to check BabyShilts heartrate as routine. At 8pm, visitors to the ward had to leave meaning hubby had to leave me. I was so upset. I was on the ward with another two ladies, both who had already started off the induction process earlier that day and they both were upset that their other halves had to leave too. We got chatting and it was nice to know that there were another couple of ladies in the same situation as me.
It was a long night. Nothing was happening at all on the cervix front. It was apparently still quite hard and posterior meaning it hadn’t softened at all and hadn’t moved to a position that favoured labour. After six hours, the second lot of prostin was inserted by a different midwife. She wasn’t very gentle and it wasn’t a very nice experience. Anyway, the second lot of gel was in and again was told to get some rest and they’d check on me again in 6 hours. The lady across from me was having very regular contractions which appeared very painful so she was swiftly moved to the delivery suite. The lady next to me seemed to be in agony and was having really painful contractions. She spent the next 5 hours crying and throwing up which was awful to listen too. I literally got no sleep at all.
At about 5:30am, I got up to go to the toilet and after I got back into bed, I felt a twang in my lower tummy and wondered if it was my waters going. Within 3 or 4 seconds, I was in no doubt that it was my waters as they literally gushed everywhere including the floor! I buzzed the midwife and she agreed that my waters had gone. She examined me, told me I was only 1cm dilated and a 3rd shot of prostin would be inserted to help speed things up. After the gel was inserted, I was monitored again and then slowly my contractions started to build up but there wasn’t a pattern to them. The lady next to me was wheeled off to the delivery suite and I was alone in the ward.
At 10am hubby was allowed back on the ward which was fantastic as I found it so reassuring to have him there. I managed to get about 20 minutes sleep and I can remember that those few minutes sleep felt amazing. I felt like I’d been asleep for hours. I was hooked back up to the CTG machine and this time, BabyShilts heartrate was unbelievably high. It kept making the machine bleep out with a warning sign and every 3 minutes or so, the midwife would have to come back and turn the sound off. This was worrying as it had been so sedate before and all of a sudden it was sky high. After half an hour, the midwife told me I was being moved to the delivery suite and this is where the real fun began.
Once in the delivery suite, hubby rang my Mum to come down as she was my second birthing partner. A cannula was inserted in my arm and a big bag of fluids were flushed in as they thought I was quite dehydrated which also meant baby was dehydrated too. Once that had been flushed in, they started the syntocinon drip. My Mum arrived and then the next couple of hours all began to get a bit blurry. The syntocinon drip made my contractions get a bit more frequent but again there was no pattern to them. Once you’re hooked up to the drip, baby’s heartrate is monitored and so you can’t move around. I really didn’t like being stuck on the bed and asked if there was any other way of monitoring his heart rate whilst I could move around. The midwife fitted a little clip to his head to monitor his heartrate and this also meant I could at least move within a metre of the CTG machine.
Well BabyShilts then decided he didn’t like this and his heartrate kept dropping. I was asked to get back on the bed and lie on my left side, then my right all of which he didn’t like so I was back on the bed and the consultant was kept informed of what was happening. I asked for some pain relief and was told I could have gas and air if I wanted it. It’s awful stuff. I know lots of people say it’s fab and they really enjoyed having it but it made me feel really lightheaded, quite sick and out of control. The whole room was spinning and I got quite upset. The contractions continued and as I wasn’t getting any relief from the gas and air, I asked for an epidural. I wasn’t afraid to ask for it. The midwife asked for the anaesthetist and he came with a leaflet detailing all the risks from the procedure and I do remember him talking to me about something but cannot for the life of me remember what he was saying. Even though I didn’t like the gas and air, I was completely off my head.
If you’re still with me, I applaud you. It’s a bit of a novel this!
At some point, I was told that my toe nail varnish would need to be removed just in case of any complications later in the day and at this point I began to get a little concerned that my baby wasn’t going to arrive naturally. The epidural was sited and administered and I thought I would feel instant relief. Did I heck! I still had to use the gas and air at the height of the contraction but I wasn’t in the agony I was in earlier. The consultant came back in and for the record, she was lovely. She reassured me that nothing terrible was going to happen and she was going to look after me and my baby. Another midwife took off my nighty and asked me to put a hospital gown on and I remember feeling quite stressed out that something more serious was up. The consultant asked if they could take do a procedure where they take a couple of samples of blood from the top of baby’s head to check for any problems which I agreed to and I was asked to lie on my side with one leg raised in the air. Completely undignified but completely necessary.
The blood results came back within a few minutes which showed that BabyShilts was showing signs of being borderline (indicating foetal distress) and that it would be quite dangerous for them to let me carry on dilating as I was only 3cm dilated at this point. Timings really went a bit blurry here and it only seemed like a matter of seconds and the room filled with people giving me more drugs and fluids, asking me to drink something from a little container (have absolutely no idea what it was) and for me to agree to an emergency c-section. I remember signing a squiggle on a piece of yellow paper and then being wheeled down the corridor with my hubby and Mum being left behind. Hubby was whisked off to get into his blue scrubs and before I knew it, I was in theatre and they were topping up my epidural and was given an injection of anti-sickness medication. I felt so sick and my teeth began to chatter involuntarily. Hubby came in and then at 17:48pm on Sunday 10th February 2013, BabyShilts was lifted over the top of the screen and we both burst into tears.
I’ve got to say it was the happiest and most terrifying day of my life. I was so scared that my baby would come to harm but I would of done anything to make sure that he wasn’t in danger. Luckily, he is perfect. His dramatic entrance to the world has no ill effects on him, he’s just perfect.
I had to stay in hospital a couple of nights following the birth and my recovery has been quite slow. I’m still swollen but no where near as swollen as I was. My scar became infected so I’ve been on antibiotics as well as hubby having to administer a twice daily injection of Clexane (an anti clotting drug) into my tummy. I’ve got that lovely little pleasure for the next 6 weeks! I’ve nearly finished my course of painkillers so I’m well on the way to being back to ‘normal’.
Upon discharge from the hospital, I asked the Registrar if there was any reason why BabyShilts was in distress over that weekend and he told me that my placenta had been bleeding but he wasn’t sure if that was the reason why baby’s heartrate wasn’t right. If I could offer any advice at all to anyone expecting all I would say is trust your instincts. I knew something wasn’t right with BabyShilts on that Friday and I’m so glad I got checked out as it could of been a completely different story.
So that’s Olly’s birth story, My gorgeous little boy didn’t come into the world as I had planned but do you know what, I would do absolutely anything for him. He’s my little star and I really do feel completely blessed.
I’d like to publicly thank the midwives and consultant team on the Delivery Suite and Foxglove Ward at Walsall Manor Hospital. I found them unbelievably supportive and the level of expertise they showed during the latter part of the weekend was overwhelming. We were very lucky to have been under their care.