Mr Bebe and I had a dreamy idea of our birthing plan…………
The midwife started us off writing our birth plan, put down the things you definitely want and those you definitely don’t but remain flexible. So we went home researched and put down how we wished the arrival of Little Bebe to go, it was such a lovely plan and we were excited about our precious little baby arriving. We were planning a water birth; I loved the water and it seemed such a relaxed and natural method, drugs would be my very last resort!
I bought a maternity tankini from Mothercare for a little modesty in the pool, had our hospital bag all packed and ready, we had been on the ward visit – so now it was just a waiting game.
My due date came but Little Bebe, although her head was engaged and had been for a few weeks, decided she did not want to make an appearance just yet. The midwife booked me in for a sweep in a week’s time but we all hopped it would not be necessary.
I spent the next few days stuck on the sofa, I was suffering from SPD/PGP and it was too painful to walk or even stand – just going to the toilet was a mission and one I had to do far too frequently (I think Little Bebe was squeezing my bladder).
Five days after my due date I started to get severe pain in my lower back, I thought it was where I was stuck on the sofa. Mr Bebe went off to work as normal and the pain eased. I carried on my day as normal, phoned my parents who were on standby to travel up for the birth, made stew for tea in the slowcooker, slept for just a little bit and managed to make myself lunch. A dull ache and throbbing started, I thought I had overdone the standing up as it definitely didn’t fell like contractions.
Mr Bebe got home and the throbbing had worsened, hmmmm this could be it I told him, but ten minutes later the pain had gone again. Just a false alarm I guessed! We had tea which I struggled to keep down, I seemed to be getting sickness again for the last few weeks and had had a dodgy tummy a couple of days ago.
By 6pm on Friday I was getting contractions for sure, they were irregular but quite frequent. The pain was bearable so I snuggled down on the sofa with Mr Bebe and watched a film. By nine o’clock we decided we should try and sleep as we both thought we didn’t have long to go. I tossed and turned and every contraction kept me awake.
At 1am on Saturday morning I was so uncomfortable, I decided to have a bath to help. I was in there for about three hours with Mr Bebe having to top it up with warm water constantly. At 4am my contraction were lasting for about 90 seconds and were five minutes apart, so we prepared to go to hospital.
We rang my parents at 5am to get them on there way up, and headed for the maternity unit. I was assessed but only 2cm dilated so sent home again.
At about 10am the contractions had stopped, instead I had a sharp, intense pain all down my left side. I was sent to the assessment unit – I was monitored and examined by a doctor, he said I was not in labour but had severe constipation so sent me home again with movicol and codeine for the pain.
Mum and dad arrived around 12pm, I was do glad to see them! I thought I had been having contractions again but had convinced myself I could not be as the doctor had said I wasn’t in labour. Mum took one look at me and said the doctor had it wrong!
We stayed home for a bit to see if the contractions would last this time. Mum cooked some spaghetti Bolognese, even though I didn’t want to eat, she said I had to keep my strength up.
At about 4pm I had a fairly big bleed so we headed off to the hospital once more. I was 4cm dilated so they kept me in. The contractions were coming thick and fast and the midwife was convinced I would have the baby that evening.
I got into the birthing pool which was amazing, but huge. My feet could not reach the sides, (I am quite vertically challenged), and my bump would pop out of the water every time I had a contraction. I used every pool float, noodle and wedge that was available to try and stabilise me. I was in for 4 hours before needing a wee, at which point I was sick in the sink and then couldn’t face getting back in.
I was then examined again and since arriving at the hospital five hours before I was still only 4cm dilated, it was such a blow – five hours of intense regular contractions with the midwife thinking the baby would be here this evening and I had not progressed.
We moved onto the birthing ball with me sucking on the gas and air like it was my lifeline. I was so tired my head was dropping between every contraction.
The midwife suggested pethadine to help me relax and rest more. It wasn’t what I had planned, it was my last resort but after no sleep since Thursday night and contractions for around 28 hours I was exhausted. I asked for a half does but was advised to take a full does. It was amazing between contraction I would fall asleep for a few minutes and then wake for the next one where it felt like it had no effect then repeat the cycle.
By 2am Sunday morning my contractions had slowed again, at which point the doctor examined me I was 5cm and not progressing again. They suggested a hormone drip and an epidural, it was my nightmare – it was the one thing I said I never wanted, I said no for around an hour before caving to exhaustion and having it.
Why oh why did I not just start with this it was bliss, I couldn’t feel a thing and slept like a baby for six hours. Poor Mr Bebe and my mum were curled up uncomfortably on chairs trying to rest too, but being woken up by the midwives popping in and the other ward noises.
I was examined by a couple of new doctors around 10.30am on Sunday, one of which was the doctor who said I was not in labour – apparently he was a trainee, at least there was a qualified doctor with him this time. I was finally fully dilated, yay!
The midwife talked me through my contractions, which I still could not feel, and started getting me to push. Two and a half hours later things started to go awry, Little Bebe heart beat was dropping. The doctors decided she had to come out then and there – forceps at the ready.
The junior doctor was performing the forcep delivery, Little Bebe was out in two big pushes and pulls. Her cry was the best thing I have ever heard, she was ok! Born at 2pm, 44 hours after my contractions started. As she was put on my chest I felt my heart explode with pure love, I had done it, we had done it, our beautiful baby girl was here.
I looked up and could see my mum turn grey – something was wrong, I was so out of it I had no idea I was haemorrhaging. My episiotmy was one side and I tore badly the opposite side where the forceps had gone wrong, the doctors were stiching me there but were considering surgery. Forty minutes, over a litre of blood lost, three needles and ten swabs later I was stitched. Little Bebe was serverely bruised and swollen from the forceps and suffering from a little jaundice but other then that she was doing well. I needed two blood transfusions to get my count back up and we spent the next five days in hospital recovering.
Well that was not on my birth plan…….but every second was worth it to hold our gorgeous baby girl in our arms.