Determined for a different experience

By: Jessica - Instagram @jpeg_30

First birth:

At 41 weeks my waters went at home at 10am in a Monday. Went in to be checked and was sent home with instructions to come back in 24hrs for induction or earlier if I go into active labour. Over night I started having mild contractions but nothing close to active labour yet. The next day I go in to be induced, no discussion with me really at all and I felt totally out of control. Turns out I was 3cm so I had to go straight on the drip, again no discussion. This was midday Tuesday. I was told I should have an epidural as the drip would cause intense contractions and too painful to cope with. As a first timer I just agreed. But then it wasn’t until 3am on the Wednesday that someone was available to do the drip and epidural leaving me in labour in a room having quite severe contractions with my partner and no idea what was really going on.

Drip goes in and over the next 15 hours I was told the babies heart rate was dropping, now it’s ok, etc etc. At one point while my partner was having dinner at a pub 📷 the CQC came in with a consultant and I had about 8 people round my bed and the consultant made me explain my whole heart rate reading sheet thing to them. I was knackered!!

So then at 5pm on the Wednesday I was told by the consultant I had to have a section. I cried, the midwife tried to persuade him I was close but he said I had no choice. My son was born by EMCS less than an hour later, just 56 hours after my waters! I had an infection so had to stay in for 5 days, he was given antibiotics but didn’t have an infection. I felt like I had no control over it all and to be honest I have no nice feelings at all from when he was out and put in my arms. It took a good 6 months to bond with my son. I blame the birth and how out of control I felt. Even if the EMCS was best for the baby I just felt I wasn’t really part of it.

Second birth:

Armed with all the hypnobirthing resources under the sun I was determined for a different experience and a VBAC!

Labour started at 40+5 after a sweep, 1 was 3cm already. On a Thursday afternoon. Go into hospital when I think contractions are ramping up but told I’m not in active labour. Just as I was about to be sent to the ward but waters went and contractions really got going. I was told they had wireless monitors so I could go in the water and I was so excited! Sadly no one could figure out how they worked!!! I started to get annoyed but remembered all the calm thoughts and breathing and got back in control. I had planned on refusing continuous monitoring but actually decided it was best I knew my baby was ok. After 3 hours of active labour I was really struggling and was only 6cm. I asked for some morphine which was amazing and then begged for an epidural, something I had sworn I wouldn’t have, but I was desperate, this was midnight on Thursday night. Over night I got some rest and contractions were doing well apparently. 9am and a student midwife examines me and tells me I’m 10cm and time to push! So an hour of pushing and I don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Another examination and I’m not 10cm I’m 9!! I stayed so calm (student midwife was so upset!) and just took it all in my stride, told her I was happy I got the practice!!

Anyway after that things slowed down, consultants and drs got involved and I was getting worried. One registrar came in and said “time to cut” while making a pretend cut move on his stomach. I cried! If it wasn’t for the most amazing midwife ever I probably would have said yes. She shouted at him! And really really pushed for my VBAC. Long story short I was told I had until 1.30pm, my daughter was born using a ventouse (by that same shitty registrar!) at 1.29pm. I pushed with more power than I knew I had. When she was out on my chest I cried, my partner cried, the midwife cried! I’ve never ever felt more proud of myself in my whole life. The emotion I felt was like nothing I can explain. The midwife was wonderful and I wouldn’t have got my VBAC without her. I lost a lot of blood so had to stay in and have two transfusions so I was there a few days. At one point a junior dr came to see me. I didn’t recognise her but apparently she was there for the birth. She said that none of the drs thought I would do it, she said they were preparing the theatre. And I did it!!!

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