Thank you to MoorMum Louise from Bingley for sharing her story.
What were you doing when Barack Obama was voted the first mixed race president of the United States and making World history? Well, I was making my own little bit of World history, giving birth to Evie Grace at Airedale general hospital by emergency caesarian!
Sunday 2nd November
I went to bed for my 4pm nap, being 38 weeks pregnant and feeling like a tired hippo. Woke up to feel a distinctly damp feeling on the sheets. Definitely hadn’t wet myself, that only happened when I sneezed or laughed! Went to the loo to find what was to be my ‘show’ but only a little bit. I was expecting some great glob of goo.
Phoned labour ward and explained. I also explained I’d been closely monitored for the last month as I had high blood pressure. They told me to get my things and go in. My husband Mike turned off the roast dinner (damn!) stomped around the house turning things off, until I reminded him we really should be going!
Once on labour ward, I was examined and strapped to the blood pressure machine and fetal monitoring machine. None of the midwives could actually tell me if my waters had broken and I wasn’t yet having contractions. No protein in wee, no swelling of hands so no symptoms of pre-eclampsia, so they said I could go home. One last blood pressure test and the blasted thing went up again. The doctor refused to send me home and I was admitted to ward 21.
Monday 3rd November
After not much sleep, my blood pressure was taken again around 9am. Still up. Also, they needed to see exactly how much fluid was left around the baby, so I was booked in for a scan at 3pm. Mike came back to go for the scan with me and I was wheeled off down to radiology. There, things got really exciting! After waiting about an hour to be seen, I literally felt a gushing between my legs and a splatter on the floor. No doubt about my waters now! The nurses in radiology flew into action and fussed about. The scan was done, but needless to say, there was very little fluid around the baby now! It was just like something from a soap opera. Mike wheeled me back up to the ward in an attractive hospital gown and paper knickers. Mike stayed a while but was eventually chucked out around 8pm. My contractions hadn’t really started, I just had a dull achey feeling.
I found someone I knew, Nic had also been admitted, so she and I attempted to watch ‘Spooks’ together to take my mind off what was happening to me. Spooks is difficult to follow at the best of times, but when your contractions are 6 minutes apart, it’s even worse!
I tried to get some sleep, but by about 1am, they really started. Best way to describe them is the worst period pain you’ve ever had, but they do subside. I had to waddle to the bathroom to have a bath to try and ease the pain. Mike wasn’t allowed in, even though I pestered every midwife, so I was quite lonely and frightened. Eventually, one kind midwife said I could have some painkillers which would knock me out for a couple of hours to get some sleep. Mercifully, they worked. Bang goes the birth plan! I had wanted to be at home for this bit!
Tuesday 4th November
Thankfully, Mike was allowed in at 7am. I promptly burst into tears when he arrived, but felt a lot better. I was examined and told I was dilated 4cm, now in ‘established labour’, so could be taken to labour ward. Yippee! Also the pool room was free so I could use it. Excellent, all going to plan!
However, as soon as they realised I was ‘high risk’ with high blood pressure and waters that had broken over 24 hours ago, I couldn’t use the birthing pool. Also I couldn’t have anything to eat. WHAT??? you expect me to give birth with nothing to eat?? Mike had tea and toast, I had lucozade and boiled sweets!
Hooked up to all the machines again was no fun, and at around lunchtime I was examined. No change. After 5 hours of contractions. I was put on a drip as I was dehydrating. About 4pm, I was examined again, no change. Couldn’t believe it. There was a change of shift so another midwife took over, Sherri, who was far more reassuring. They then put me on a drip to regulate my contractions and increase their strength. 8pm, examined, no change. By this time I was utterly exhausted. Mike had been wonderful, rubbing my back and telling me how fabulous I was, but I didn’t feel bloody fabulous. I felt like a wrung out old sock!
Sherri then said the doctor was coming round who examined me then gave me choice. I could either go on for another hour and see if I got above 4cm, or have c section. It was really a no – brainer. I was exhausted.
After that, things moved very quickly. I was prepped for theatre (horrible support stockings, shaved pubes, catheter..mmm lovely) then wheeled up to theatre.
I was taken to have my spinal block without Mike, but by then, I’d had so much gas and air, I didn’t have time to get scared. The anaesthetic worked very quickly and I was wheeled in. Mike looked so funny in his scrubs, wish I could’ve got a photo. I was busy thinking this, when whoosh, a bit of a pulling sensation, then there she was, Evie Grace 7lbs 4oz, my beautiful, beautiful girl.
Things I wish I’d known:
1: exactly what ‘established labour’ was
2: What being ‘high risk’ meant exactly.
3: That birth plans are a complete waste of time!
Essential things for hospital:
1:nice shower gel, makes you feel loads better and a fluffy towel
2: plenty of clean underwear & nighties
3: an MP3 with soothing tunes or ear plugs!
Don’t bother with:
1: disposable knickers. Utterly useless and very uncomfortable
2: Snacks for you and partner, they’ll just go soggy in your bag!
3: loads of clothes for you. You’ll be in your PJ’s or nightie most of the time.
If you would like to contact Louise to discuss her story or ask any questions, please contact us.