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17 July, 2018


my birth story positive

Our baby is now 3 months old and it's taken me that long to sit down and share my birth story - don't worry it was a positive experience! So on Friday 20th April, I went to a friend's house for dinner and was gleefully telling her baby won't come early, he would be here by now! I waddled on home and little did I know our baby would come that Sunday, 10 days early :)

Hang and I had plans that weekend to celebrate both of our birthdays, so at the back of my head I had that pressure to not go into labour early! I went to bed that night and something felt different, I tossed and turned and couldn't get to sleep. I remember feeling stomach pains at 5.30am but I was so tired I tried to suppress it. I was in denial and didn't want my labour to start.

I got up around 7am and went to the bathroom and saw that I was bleeding. I felt weird not panicked but the reality of the situation was sinking in. In that moment I knew my labour was starting and I was a little scared. I told Hang and we called up the labour ward. We had planned to stay at home until I was diluted so I didn't expect them to tell us to come into hospital, but as I was bleeding they wanted to check me over. At this point I felt anxious and tired as I hadn't slept, my hospital bag were packed and it was also a really hot day, which made me feel hot and bothered!

2 days before I went into labour, 38 weeks + 4 days :)
The 20 minute car journey to the hospital was awful, the contractions were kicking in and were really painful. Every speed bump made it worse and I was squirming in the back seat. The contractions felt like sharp twists in your abdomen, not like period pains or cramps. We got to the labour ward at Kings College Hospital and signed in for a triad with the midwife. At this point I couldn't hold in the pain and was moaning in discomfort in reception, the other women there seemed chilled and calm!

When we saw the midwife she confirmed my bleeding was 'my show'. I felt scared and nervous about the labour, it was really happening. She examined me and I knew I wasn't diluted, she said they would usually send women home but she could tell I was really suffering and said I could stay and wait in one of the spare beds. I put on the Tens machine (it sends electrical pulses on your body to relieve pain) and got Hang to time my contractions, the Tens machine was a god-send as I don't think I could of got through without it. I was fearing those few minutes when another contraction would come.

The midwife gave me diamorphine (powerful opioid) and an anti sickness drug. We moved to a bed downstairs and the pain subsided slightly. I felt exhausted and hungry but I couldn't eat, I threw up my breakfast and felt nauseous. This was the worse part, in excruciating pain and waiting for hours and hours. The contractions started again as the drug wore off. I moved off the bed onto a yoga ball and rocked over the side of the bed to help relieve the pain. I could feel my uterus/womb area drop and things opening up down there!

It was around 7-8pm when the midwife checked up on me and I was diluted 4cms - thank god! I was so relieved to be told we could go to the delivery room. They asked if I wanted a water birth as per by birth plan and I said no give me the epidural! I had wanted a natural birth but you got to listen to your body and why suffer right?!

Poor Hang I was snapping at him all day but he was helpful giving me sips of water and trying to keep me calm. In the the delivery room they gave me gas and air as the doctors prepared for my epidural. I remember swearing at this point as the gas and air made me feel light headed and sick. I also threw up again, at this point it had 24 hrs since I've eaten a proper meal or slept. The doctor then came to administer the epidural, I felt slight pressure on my back but other than that it wasn't that bad.

It was around 11pm and the midwife said it would be at least 10 hours until I'm fully diluted to 10 cms, so I tried to get some rest. It was good to not feel the contractions but the room was hot as hell and I couldn't relax with all the whirring machinery.

Morning came and around 10am the midwife said we'll start pushing at 12pm and I felt nervous and excited, baby was coming! I got into position to push and it was so hard as I couldn't feel anything pass my lower back and also had a fever to deal with. The midwife was so patience encouraging me when I wasn't pushing hard enough. My leg had cramped up as well and was so painful, Hang had to massage it whilst fanning me and giving me water.

2 hours of pushing later and I wasn't making progress, baby's head wasn't crowning yet. The lead midwife came in and said you need to give me 110% and I felt like crying. After no further progress, they then used a ventouse on baby's head - which is a suction cap to help assist baby out. I pushed with all the energy I could muster, otherwise they said they would use forceps which I didn't want. I was also given an episiotomy and stitches, but didn't feel a thing.

At 2.49pm I felt baby slip out and it was such an incredible and surreal moment, I heard cries and in that moment felt euphoric and my 'normal' self again (the pain and fever went away.) I'm so glad I was able to feel him physically come out, even with the epidural. They cut his cord, wiped him down and he was on me straightaway. I felt so proud of what I had been through. The care from the midwife and doctors was incredible and I'm so thankful for all their help delivering our baby safely and for Hang being by my side.

I looked into baby's open eyes whilst he laid on my skin and it was the best feeling of my life. I would describe my labour as painful, exhausting and empowering. Over 33 hours of labour and weighing 6lb 2oz our precious baby arrived on Sunday 22nd April.

Thank you so much for reading my birth story, how did it make you feel? Do you have one to share - let me know below :)

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