Hearing birth stories is inevitable when you spend your day looking after babies, especially as many of the babies on the unit entered the world in rather dramatic ways.
This is mine (and Squidge’s) story.
He was actually supposed to arrive by caesarean section at 38 and a half weeks due to me having gestational diabetes and mental health issues but he decided he didn’t want to wait that long.
I had back pain and Braxton Hicks for the last two weeks or so before Squidge arrived and it made it difficult for me to sleep so when they were particularly bad one night I didn’t think much of it. I got to sleep in the early hours of the morning but when I woke up and my back still hurt I was just really fed up with being pregnant.
Squidge was still wriggling and kicking and the c-section date was still a week and a half away so it didn’t occur to me that I could be in labour.
I tried my TEN machine but an hour later my back still hurt so I got in the bath. It suddenly occurred to me that not only did my back hurt but so did my bump and that the pain wasn’t continuous but came in waves.
And it really bloody hurt.
When my husband timed them, or rather he timed my swearing it became quite obvious that there was a pattern. A five minutes apart pattern.
At this point my husband phoned the delivery suite who wanted me to come in to be checked as I’d been in early labour at 26 weeks. But by the end of the phone call the contractions were now three minutes apart and although I’d made it out of the bath and into some clothes I was doubled over in pain and vomiting in between contractions, alternating between begging my husband to take me to hospital and telling him I couldn’t get in the car.
I’ve never needed an ambulance before but there’s a first time for everything. Initially 999 were a bit reluctant to send an ambulance for someone who had only been in established labour for about an hour but now I was in pain, frightened and not being particularly quiet about it. They decided to send an ambulance sooner rather than later when my husband gave me the phone.
I don’t think I swore.
About ten minutes later a rather unimpressed fast response paramedic arrived armed with a canister of Entonox and leaving the front door wide open. After the first puff I sank to the bathroom floor in relief.
Until then next contraction.
I didn’t know it was possible to be in so much pain.
I dimly remember the paramedic asking my husband why I couldn’t get in the car to drive to hospital.
Then the ambulance arrived, complete with two paramedics who kept telling me that I was still in early labour and that it would be hours yet before Squidge arrived as my waters hadn’t broken yet.
As it was my waters didn’t break until Squidge actually arrived. He’d had his head engaged for so long that they were all backed up behind him.
Terrified at this point, wondering how I was going to cope in this much pain for hours yet and desperately wanting it all to stop I marched out to the ambulance, hallucinating on the Entonox but still coherent enough to realise that I wasn’t wearing any shoes.
I refused to let go of the Entonox and kept my eyes closed for the whole journey, apart from when I needed to throw up. Alex had to drive separately as all my stuff was packed ready in the boot of his car so by keeping my eyes closed I could pretend he was in the ambulance with me and not the paramedic who refused to hold my hand.
Just after we arrived at the hospital I realised that the Entonox had stopped working and the paramedic told me that in my silly state I’d used it all up.
It finally dawned on them that I was not exaggerating my pain when the midwife met us at the door of delivery suite and after being told that I was in the early stages of labour coldly pointed out to them that I was actually pushing involuntary. My body had completely taken over at this point and I was begging anyone I thought could help to take the pain away.
I was also convinced that now I was in labour I was going to be forced to deliver naturally. I kept trying to tell my husband that’s what they were going to make me do and thinking that he wasn’t taking things seriously enough.
After an examination by the midwife it turned out that I was fully dilated and Squidge was most of the way down so I gritted my teeth and tried to push as opposed to screaming as there wasn’t enough time to get me prepped for a c-section. Knowing that Squidge was actually nearly here helped me find that tiny extra bit of resolve and at 1057, weighing 6lb 4oz and after being on delivery suite for approximately 20 minutes he arrived.
Early labour my arse
It took me a few minutes to realise that Squidge wasn’t crying. According to my husband he was delivered with the cord wrapped tightly around his neck and was a funny shade of navy. The midwife pulled the emergency buzzer and the neonatal team poured into the room to resuscitate Squidge who wasn’t breathing. My husband was rotated to start work with the neonatal team in the next couple of weeks so he got to meet his colleagues early.
Squidge pinked up and started breathing quite quickly after this and then I saw my baby for the first time.
Bit that’s a whole new post.