06 May 2015

My baby´s birth story



 *Disclaimer*
This will be a long post.
Also, if you are an expecting mother, bear in mind that this is my experience in giving birth.
Hopefully, you may, and so you shall, have the loveliest of births!



I will be paraphrasing Ghostwritermummy ..."Ok, so I think I can do this now"...I don't usually talk about  my birth experience. And why is that? Firstly, because I don't like to remember it that much... It's an overwhelming experience that  brings back a mixture of intense and contrasting feelings. If you follow my blog, you might remember that my son's birth was a complicated one. I have some vivid flashbacks about a precise and specific moment that I cannot control. I already shared with some friends that I want to have more children, and even though I want it so much, I am terrified at the same time, terrified that I will experience the same  complicated labour.

It was only after that I read this article that the combination of these two symptoms (flashbacks and being afraid of getting pregnant again) made me think that I might be experiencing some sort of birth trauma.

So this time I will share my son's birth story:

 I first entered labour mid morning on the 21nd of December 2013, when I had a "show". We rang the maternity and they recommended that we stop by to make an assessment of my situation. The contractions were not strong at all, baby had a strong heart rate and he was not showing any indication of wanting to be born anytime soon, and so we were told to head back home and if I had progression labour would be induced in 48h.  




On the 22nd of December , my contractions were really painful, but not long enough for labour, and as I couldn't cope with the pain we returned to the hospital once again. As I got checked in and even though my contractions were so painful, they were not nearly strong enough... And I was not dilated at all; my cervix was measuring 2cm at the time I think.... And so the labour was not progressing. I needed some help coping with pain, and was offered either pethidine or epidural. At the time I thought, Gosh if I am experiencing this level of pain with these first contractions, I don't even dare to imagine what I will be experiencing with the “real” ones! Give me an epidural please!




The midwife was pushing hard for the pethidine but using this pain releave method would make it impossible to get an epidural afterwards, eventually I was given an epidural as I was requesting. Instant pain relief! yayh for epidural!

It’s early 23rd now, and I was given a drip to induce labour and an epidural. My midwife at the time was the one who actually followed my pregnancy! So I was calm and relaxed as I was being medically accompanied by a familiar face. It was a good environment, and I have to be honest, overall, I do have confidence in most of the health staff of that hospital... My contractions only started to be strong and regular late that afternoon. Eventually I was told to push by my midwife, and at this point we begin to face some problems...

A little context of my medical situation is necessary now... I was always told by my orthopaedic surgeon (as I had hip surgery two times) that once pregnant, I ought to have an elected c-section, as I have hip displasy, and I am so tiny... We struggled to be heard and to see a consultant about this, and our request for the c-section was always refused. However we were seen by a senior midwife at the hospital who referred us to a physiotherapeutic consultant to study my "hip mobility", meaning that we were able to understand how far my legs could be spread, and to study some birthing positions. Ideally, I was to have a water birth, were I would not be straining my hip. My husband accompanied me through all these visits, and thank goodness, as he was my hip champion through all the labour... It was tricky, as my movements were really limited. Of course all these plans for a water birth would not happen. Instead, I was laying in a bed, struggling to find an angle that would not strain my hip. Even though I had an epidural, I could sense the contractions coming as my hip would hurt.

That explained, let´s resume… After pushing for a couple of hours (I think it was a couple hours…), baby would not move at all. A discussion between a midwife and a consultant was held in front of me, were they were trying to figure out my baby’s position…: huum, If head is like this - gesture made - so baby is back to back right?-said consultant; Yes, I think so – replied the midwife.

I know! So reassuring, right?? My faith and confidence crumbles a bit…

After an exchange of possible positions, the health staff finally arrived to the conclusion that baby was in a back to back position, and that I needed surgical help, and so I would need to be taken into theatre.

They were exchanging shifts at the time, so it would be another surgeon that would actually perform my baby’s birth. My baby was born through the use of forceps… The surgeon had to perform an episiotomy and I also suffered a tear. My baby was born around 21h on the 23rd December 2013, weighing 3,235Kg after practically 24h of labour.

My son was placed me in my chest, and I was able to experience a surge of love, I was immediately besotted by my little one, I could only exclaim “Oh my god! Oh my god!”.




At this point, my memories are really blurry (they were already a bit blurry), and I only remember vividly one moment:

This moment, which I recall over and over again.

This moment that I re-live as vivid flashbacks, oh, so very often.

This moment that terrifies me, and makes understand how vulnerable we are.

This moment that is so overwhelming were I feel how precious and ephemeral life is.

I started to feel fading away. My strength worn out and I asked for my baby to be taken away as I thought I could not hold him anymore. I thought, I won’t be leaving this bed. This is it. At least I got the chance of seeing and met my baby for a few seconds.


This moment hunts me…

… you think, you will be gone.

Were you feel…

Were you will be missing his first smile. 

His first steps. 

You won’t be witnessing your baby grow.

You feel void, empty.

You feel a sense of lost. 

I went blank then.
And for the rest of it my husband had to fill in my blanks. I do remember however the surgeon mentioning that couldn’t find the source of my bleeding. My husband told me he could feel the stress in the room at that time. And he was terrified as well as he could only see blood everywhere…

I had a really strong bleeding; also my uterus was not contracting. The staff had to give me something to help out with the contracting. I lost a lot of blood, however, not enough to receive a transfusion at the time. 

At the end everything turned out for the better, I am here. I am alive. I have a strong and healthy baby! I am lucky.

The next following days were really hard. I was feeling exhausted all the time. As breastfeeding was not going well too, we had to stay in the hospital for over a week. Three days later after his birth I was still exhausted, feeling like fainting and lightheaded and after a blood analysis it was revealed that I needed a blood transfusion. 

I got better, less exhausted and feeling more confident too. Breastfeeding started to go a bit better too. And at this point Breastfeeding Babes were an incredible source of support too.

I have to be fair with most midwifes and health staff that accompanied us through all these complications. Most were lovely, helped us through all our difficulties, were always available to answer any doubts, fears, and were always accessible.

So, after reading some other birth experiences I really feel privileged! Just a couple of midwifes were less, let’s say nice, but I guess that would be expected, as not all of us are always in a good mood I guess…

My son’s birth did not go as planned at all. All that was discussed in the beginning with my midwife (having a water birth!) didn’t happen at all. Also the antenatal classes that we attended so we would be more prepared… In my opinion they could not be further away from the reality of all. I do realize that I had a complicated labour, and nothing could ever prepare me for it. However antenatal classes describe you the picture of an idealistic birth! I even got a chance to visit a birthing pool that I would never use. Or ever will. And the theatre that I end up at? I believe no-one would ever show you that. We can visit and see a birthing pool but a theatre, not even a glimpse of it. Also, we don’t feel pain in birth, we experience feelings - that’s the mantra I was taught at the antenatal classes. 

The birth did not go as planned and was complicated. I still suffer the consequences of it; however I don’t hold anyone at the hospital responsible for it. I do nonetheless have to restore my faith on the medical care and on the NHS… It got broken.

Also…

… that moment resurges uninvited and… it’s ever so terrifying.
Overwhelming…
…and paralyzing.

I still have to deal with it too.

I am linking up with:
Post Comment Love
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com
Maternity Matters~ Ghostwritermummy

5 comments:

  1. Your story really touched me!! I could not imagine having to go through the right after my baby was born and I understand why this would still be affecting you. I'm glad you were looked after and are here to tell your story #brilliantblogposts x

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    1. Yes, this was a very difficult time, but it helps to share the story! it helped me reading that other mother feel the same... so maybe my story will help others too.
      I am glad that you enjoyed the reading!x

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  2. What a touching and emotional birth story. It sounds scary and confusing, but I am so glad that the outcome was ok in the end. I think birth trauma is something that is seriously not spoken about in this country enough. x

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    Replies
    1. It was really scary! and so very emotional. Its true, we need to talk more about birth trauma... I just found about this this week, I do not understand why is not discussed openly...
      x

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  3. What a scary experience for you. I think its brave of you to write it down and share your story, it will help others who've been through similar. Thanks for linking up to #MaternityMatters x x

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