This is a wonderful story from Keely. When your birth plan doesn’t go to, well, plan, it can be disappointing. I didn’t have a birth plan, as such, but in my mind I wanted the NCT birth – au natural, preferably in a birth pool with a pina colada. When this didn’t happen it did take me some time to get over it. Reading Keely’s story and her positive attitude to when it ‘goes wrong’ is really refreshing. And I can now see my own story in a new light!

Keely's Birth Plan that didn't go to plan

Birth Plan – Keely’s Birth Story

I was inspired to send my birth story after a good friend of mine, Heidi Dickins, published her story on Mums’ Days. I also wanted to share a positive story, or more my positive experience of an emergency situation. I was hoping to help show mums to be, that sometimes complications arise but this doesn’t have to ‘ruin’ your experience. Things rarely go to plan these days, but learning to go with the flow and put trust into all the doctors, nurses and midwives meant that myself and my husband still shared an amazing birth and journey to meeting our beautiful little girl.

My pregnancy was perfect, I was glowing with health and happiness, my skin was amazing, my nails strong and long, my hair thick and shiny, and my smile as big as it could be! I had an amazing time with my ‘bump’, it was a perfect little bump, to my surprise I’d only put on a stone by the time 39 weeks came, to learn later that 6 1/2lbs of that was baby. At a private scan at 17 weeks we were to find out that ‘bump’ was a little girl and on our drive home decided that we would call her Darcey Florence. So by 39 weeks Darcey’s room was all ready for her, right down to a wardrobe full of girlie clothes!

But something wasn’t right…
I was 39 + 3 weeks pregnant and knew my little Darcey well, so I knew that something was wrong. I had no previous warnings or signs, I woke up to a beautiful sunny spring morning and had a lazy brunch with my husband, I mentioned to him that bump wasn’t moving as much as normal for this time of day, so we decided after brunch and after a bath we would go for a walk around our local park, walking always made D move. After all I had heard rumors of the ‘quite time’ before you went into labour, so secretly was hoping that this was the start of it.

We met some friends at the park and after a somewhat slow walk with my waddle (!), we decided to stay for something to eat, but by now I was withdrawn. I kept poking bump and hoping for a response. To my joy a little kick left me assured that she was Ok, assured but not happy, as my little D would usually be moving loads by now. My friend picked up on my mood and asked if I was ok. I told her that D was a bit quiet today. My friend is already a mother to twins and kindly suggested that after food we should pop to the day unit at the hospital just to be monitored for peace of mind. I now realise I owe her everything.

At arrival to the hospital (may I point out with no hospital bag! I had that bag packed for weeks but it was at home by the door! My advice to mums to be would be stick it in your boot!), I was welcomed with open arms and smiling faces. Once filling them in on my information, they hooked me up to a monitor and brought me a lovely cup of tea…. The relief from hearing your babys heart beat is amazing, it’s still one of the best sounds I have ever heard.

However, after been there for 20 mins of monitoring I was joined by another midwife. Looking at the readings of D and me, the midwife that had welcomed me onto the ward gently informed me that I was correct to be concerned as her heart beat was very low and movement non existent. She asked my permission to do 2 things. One an internal examination as she believed the machine was picking up contractions and two to give bump a good push around to see if we could get a response.

To my relief the pushing around got a push back, and the internal reviled I was 2.5cm! The same midwife now held my hand and spoke, I was advised that I would be induced at 6am in the morning and that I would spend the night up on the ward to monitor me and to hopefully give labour a chance to progress on its own. After all I was 2.5cm. They believed I had started labour the day before but Darcey had become stuck and tired and that they didn’t want to think about what may have happened if I hadn’t come in that day… Nor do I.

Morning arrived, yet another beautiful sunny morning and along with it my husband and my hospital bag. My waters were promptly broken and the drip was inserted. Apart from the fact that I had the drip in my hand and the monitor on I was determined to try to now go with my birth plan of a natural birth. We were left alone in our little room that was full of sunshine to experience the labour as it progressed. The monitor for Darcey was connected to the main desk for emergency situations or if they need to reposition it they would pop in, but other than that we were left alone.

Labour progressed quickly due to the drip and the sunshine continued to fill the room, we had a keep calm and relax CD on repeat and dare I say it I was enjoying this time. I had complete trust in the midwives who were still keeping an eye on us but also leaving me to get on with things at my own pace. At around 7cm I asked for some pain relief as the contractions were getting stronger and stronger, and I felt happy in my choice to ask for pain relief. I had a shot of pethadine.

However, Darceys heartbeat did again drop dramatically and I was told that it was dangerous and that I should be prepared for theatre. An epidural was inserted, blood was taken from Darcey’s head and then I was whisked off into the theater. All the time the midwives were reassuring and comforting to both me and my husband.

Darcey was born by an emergency forceps delivery, but I wasn’t sad or disheartend that things didn’t go to plan. I was just happy that she was fine, as was I. Darcey was placed on my chest and that is where she stayed until she wiggled down to get some milk, then back up for snuggles all night long with me. Perfect.

In sharing my experience I hoped to break a few myths: Induction isn’t horrid, it wasn’t too painful, or more painful, it was done to ensure the safe delivery of my baby and for that I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Having my waters broken for me wasn’t painful; the upside is it didn’t catch me off guard in a supermarket or a friends cream rug! Being monitored wasn’t annoying, in fact it was calming to me throughout that I could hear her and the midwives were keeping a close eye on her. Having a epidural didn’t hurt, I don’t feel less of a woman for it either. Forceps didn’t look horrendous or hurt Darcey in any way, she came out on the first pull.

Staying in overnight with D was such a special evening for me, I’d stay again for the one on one time we shared. Would I do it all again…? In a heartbeat!

Good luck mummas to be. I hope my story helps anyone nervous about their own experience.

K xx

Keely's Birth Plan that didn't go to plan

Thank you Keely! xxx