time flies when you're being a mum

Childbirth tagged with 'birth story'

How do you get a baby out? Well, there are about a million different ways to do childbirth and this aims to cover as many as possible!

04 Dec, 2013

Bethan is a pre-baby buddy who I used to go cycling with. The first time I met her I knew she was my cup of tea (despite being a wee bit star struck because she’s a super talented illustrator and I’d already bought a book she’d written!) and for 2 long cycle rides (over 150 miles each) plus training sessions, we’d laugh until I cried. Fast forward to today and Bethan has 2 beautiful daughters, Charlotte and Georgia. I’ve been badgering Bethan for a while for her labour and birth story, (she’d given me the highlights in an Indian Restaurant. The hilarity that ensued resulted in a grumpy man next to us telling us to shhhh. Asshole!), because her labour and birth with Georgie was sooooo dramatic! Bethan decided on Georgie’s Birthday she was ready to finally write it down with a glass of fizz. She said the experience was very cathartic!

I was sorely tempted to save this post for Christmas Day as my nod to Eastenders’ drama, but who’s going to be online on Christmas Day? And this story deserves to be read! I’m not going to spoil it for you but I didn’t know it was possible to laugh and cry at the same time.

Georgie Rose is one today. Here is her labour and birth story

21st November 2013

My waters popped on Sunday at midnight when I got up for a wee. They looked clear… no meconium so I was pleased I wouldn’t have to be induced (like last time). I was also pleased it didn’t happen in the bed or on the floor.

I woke Matt up and went to get my phone to call the Maternity Assessment Unit. By the time I got off the phone Matt was back in bed! I woke him again and said we had to go in to book an induction. We debated calling a pal who lives on the street to come over because we might be back in half an hour (our 2 year old was asleep). Instinct said I’d be having the baby and to get my mum and dad over to be there for Charlotte in the morning. They live further away but I thought I would start contracting and probably end up staying at the hospital for the labour and birth. We put on fresh bedding and, when my parents got there, told them to go to bed.

When we got to the unit I almost went to the doctor led ward, rather then the midwife led unit, because I was scared of having another big baby. My first was 10lb 4oz! There was no incident then, but I considered that lucky as I had seen an horrific shoulder dystopia episode of One Born!

We got to the Midwife led unit at 1.00am. I started to contract whilst waiting but it was very quiet so we didn’t wait long. The midwife examined me and I was 3 cm. She said we needed to book a 12 or 18 hour induction and advised that because we lived close we should go home for two hours. We could stay in the hospital and walk about but would not be allowed in the unit yet.

I got matt to put my tens machine on. I was pacing and I kept needing a wee but couldn’t go. I said I was contracting and she asked when. I just kept saying “now…now…now…now…”

They were very fast and frequent. I wasn’t howling or anything, just pacing. She gave me some paracetemol. I suppose she seemed a bit irritated by me!

We asked for some time to think; the pain was making it difficult to make a decision. I was really concentrating on my breathing to hold it together. I really didn’t want to go home for lots of reasons: Distance from drugs; mum and dad had come all the way over at midnight, should they go back?; Who’d go in the bed?; and, I’d be embarrassed for them to see me in pain and we don’t have the kind of relationship where I can f and blind and cry in front of them…which I knew I wanted to do already!

We also discussed my last labour and how the midwife had been caught out by the speed and given me diamorphine only 10 minutes before I needed to push.

When the midwife came back we asked to book in for a 12 induction but stay for an hour…just to see how things were developing. We mentioned fast labours but, because I’d been induced last time, I didn’t know if it would work that way a second time? She very assertively said there was no way she would reexamine me after an hour. It was about 2am. We went to put the bags in the car. There were a few smokers and stragglers in the entrance and, because I couldn’t bare for them to be looking at me whilst contracting, I just said to get in the car. I can only remember it was so hard to sit in the seat.

We stopped for diesel!? Typically prepared husband! I could barely sit in my seat.

We got back to the house about 2.15 and Matt couldn’t get his key in the door. I can remember saying under my breath ‘for fucks sake get your shit together.’

My mum promptly came downstairs…it was probably a good thing because I really wanted to vent my pain anger at Matt. I kept walking away from her because I didn’t want to be seen.

I went for a wee but there was a lot of blood so I asked Matt to phone them and ask if that was normal. I stayed in the bathroom mainly to hide and because I felt like I needed the loo. I think it must have been the need to push but the drugs had masked the sensation last time, so I didn’t recognise it.

I must have made a noise because my mum came in. She had been a midwife before I was born. I was really pleased she was there…but a tiny bit fearful. In my first pregnancy she kept telling me things from her time at work… Days when she visited patients on her push bike, the NHS gave you Guinness on the ward, you had 10 days bed rest after a baby…And that you should scrub your nipples with a nail brush to prepare for nursing…The midwife would check my nipples soon!?

I remember Matt bringing her the phone and her talking to the midwife while matt did something to the cars/bags, who knows?! There was talk of getting back in the car to come in.

I was given the phone to talk to the midwife. She asked how I was coping. “Not very well I’m in a lot of pain…I suppose I could get in the bath to try and stay away.” In my head I HAD to last 2 hours. I didn’t even consider it possible the baby could be coming now because of how finite the midwife at the unit had been with her 2 hour rule.

My mum starting running the bath.

I think the pain lessened a bit as the baby descended but I remember saying, “I need to push.”

They said not to get in the car and told me an ambulance was coming. I asked if I could push but they said only if you have to. The lady told my mum to get towels to catch the baby and make sure I was on the floor. I knelt over the bath…my trousers were still around my ankles.

There was a moment of quiet while we just waited. I felt pleased I’d had a new towel cupboard built in the bathroom and had the sealant done.

Matt went to look for the ambulance and I remember saying that I couldn’t believe I was going to have this baby on the bathroom floor. I felt like frickin Sonia from EastEnders! My mum dipped a sponge in the bath water and mopped my head. I couldn’t imagine my husband being that sensitive or doing anything so thoughtful. He spent the whole of my first (6 hour) labour whinneting about his next sandwich and eating the food and sweets I had packed for myself but wasn’t allowed to eat.

They came up the stairs. Matt asked if we were going to hospital. He said, ‘No, she’s crowning.’

He pulled off my trousers properly and I asked if I could push….I had sort of held off the last one. He looked like he was trying to remember how to do it, but said, “Yes.”

The contraction came and I just had to yell out, which I had been trying not to do in case I woke Charlie. (There was none of this chin down candle breathe shite)

My mum said, ‘The heads out!’ And I thought, “Ah well, not so bad, the worst is over.”

The ambulance man sort of tapped my leg and said, ‘Go on! Keep going!!”

I continued pushing and felt massive relief as she wriggled out.

I heard baby shouts, which was good, but I couldn’t see her because the other ambulance guy didn’t fit in our bathroom and was on the landing rubbing and wrapping her. We all seemed to just sit there. I was still sort of hanging over the bath. The placenta came quite quickly without an injection…they said 11 mins for third stage on their sheet, but to me it felt like a couple of minutes.

I asked for the baby and tried lift my top to do skin on skin whilst still hanging over the bath. Ambulance Man Ian, my new best pal, said we should just get to the hospital.

Charlie started crying. As I sat up on the loo, I asked Matt to go settle Charlie and mum to get me some pj bottoms and pass a towel. I scraped baby gunk off my legs and put on my jamas. I told Matt to go in the car and bring the bags, and asked if mum would come in the ambulance with me. I asked for the baby and we walked down to the ambulance. They strapped me on the bed. And, I just looked at my new baby. I couldn’t work out why she wasn’t charlotte? She had really dark hair.

At the unit I had Gas and Air so they could examine me. I only had a small tear – so no stitches. We got back to hospital about 3am. They recorded the entire labour as 55 mins. The midwife still seemed irritated by me.

Then we finally did skin on skin and she fed very quickly. We had tea and toast, and my mum went back.

Georgie had a dimple on her back that needed looking at and I kept thinking that maybe this was the thing to go wrong. It turned out to be nothing. I had a wonderful shower and we both stayed in the unit overnight, which I was pleased about so we could digest it all a bit.

My dad cleaned the carnage that was our bathroom (He told me rather regretfully that he’d had to through away the bath matt!).

I couldn’t quite believe I’d had a baby like that and there were no consequences. I didn’t sleep. They weighed her – another whopper 9lb 10oz. Ambulance man Ian came in to wish us well looking decidedly chuffed.

Georgie was so wakeful and vomity. She hadn’t had drugs nor a 2 hour wrestle down the birth canal…she had shot out all round headed and unsquished. She was spitting out gunk and gnawed at my boob for 2 days until my milk came.

My birth story spread like wildfire across the toddler groups and local coffee shops…Matt was not exactly dining out on it but definitely coffee and biscuiting. I told everyone who asked me about it that I’d be able to tell it better after a pint but it hadn’t really sunk in yet.

I suppose in the sleep deprived, reflux dominated first weeks I wondered if the birth affected my bonding with Georgie. I wish I’d seen her come out. I can remember feeding her and being so flushed with love for Matt and Charlotte. But mothering a newborn and a toddler was very different. With my first baby I had hours of quiet to sit and watch Charlotte sleep. I was high on adrenalin and diamorphine and in awe of her wonder.

I loved her and wanted to look after her and feed her. I didn’t feel an instant ferocious protective bond but one that grew very steadily and surely and fiercely. With Georgie I didn’t have the same luxurious time to pause and even google ‘bonding.’ I just wiped off the baby gunk and cracked on with it. But just as her first birthday has snuck up on me, (it is the fastest year of my life.) so has my total adoration for her. She is delicious. I feel lucky every day.

Labour and Birth - Georgie

Thank you for your extraordinary labour and birth story, Bethan xxx even editing this now, I’m still welling up! Please do go on over to Bethan’s Facebook Page, say hello and give her a Like!

If you would like to read more about fast labours, you can read Sarah’s Fast Labour story here, and for more about baby bonding, read Sarah’s post about Baby Bond (a different Sarah!).

So! Were you sent home from hospital only to experience labour and birth on the bathroom floor?! Or similar.


27 Nov, 2013

We know that not all birth stories go so well and, in fact, when I was pregnant I avoided all birth stories because I didn’t want to get a ‘bad story’ stuck in my head and stress myself out. This story from my friend Ellie, who I got chatting with through twitter (she used to be a GB trampolinist, don’t you know!), has a happy ending but you will be taken through the mill first as her baby required Neonatal Resuscitation. I’d get some hankies xx 

Neonatal resuscitation

Neonatal Resuscitation – Ellie’s Birth Story

This will be a therapy session if ever there was one…! I tend to lighten the bad situations at times, I think its my coping mechanism…

I woke up on the Wednesday morning about 9.30am and went to the loo. When I ‘wiped’ I realised I’d had ‘a show’ as the books say! So, I got back in bed. A few minutes later I felt like I needed a wee again so I went to the loo and, hey presto, my waters broke!

It felt kinda strange, not a gushing, more of a very long trickling wee, but I knew it was coming from a different point! So I woke Dave up and said ‘errrrr it’s errr happening!’

Dave didn’t know what to say or do! At this point I hadn’t had any contractions. I rang the hospital and they asked me what colour my waters were. When I said they were kind of brown and not clear they told me to come in. So off we went to the hospital.

When I arrived I was taken to a room on the ward and a midwife checked my sanitary pad (dignity left at the front door…!). She was concerned with the colour of my waters and thought my baby (the beautiful Charlotte!) had done her first poo, the mycomium (yukkie black poo), already so I needed to be monitored.

Labour progressed slowly, I had gas and air, and after about 6 hours I had diamorphine to get me through the contractions. This went on for many more hours. I was getting very tired, I was sick a few times, I didn’t eat much and didn’t really feel like I knew what was going on. The staff were great but I think the diamorphine warped my mind! Eventually around midnight I was fully dilated but I had no urge to push whatsoever. Everyone said ‘you will just know’ but I didn’t feel anything except pain and exhaustion. Then my contractions slowed right down and stopped. I had to have a drip of some drug to kick start my contractions again and when they came back OH MY LIFE then I was in pain. I still didn’t have an urge to push though. I had a number of ‘sweeps’ which were incredibly uncomfortable. Charlottes heart beat was being monitored and gradually started to slow. They gave me every chance to try and push but I just didn’t get it.

All of a sudden it was all systems go. The midwife pressed the red button. Although I didn’t know what was happening I knew it wasn’t good. 4 doctors and another midwife came in. 2 doctors set up the resuscitation table and 2 doctors were examining me and asking for my consent to perform an episiotomy. They said ‘we need to get this baby out now’. I remember just saying ‘just do whatever you have to do’. I didn’t feel the cut, they told me to try and do one big push and then, with the help of their forceps, she was out.

She was blue. And floppy. And not crying. I was panicking and looking at Dave. I could see the fear in his eyes.

They put her on me for 2 seconds and then straight on the neonatal resuscitation table and I could hear her grizzling. They asked me what I wanted to call her. I just kept saying ‘is she ok? will she be ok?’ – I didn’t want to say her name incase anything bad happened. I didn’t want it to be real. They gave her oxygen and put her in a cubicle and took her to special care. They then told me I had a bad tear and would need to go straight to theatre. Again I had to give my consent for my operation and I was taken to theatre. It was 3.45am. I had a spinal injection to numb me from the waist down and it took over an hour to stitch me up.

I was taken to special care 3 hours later to see Charlotte. She was fine. She only needed help breathing for an hour. She had to have IV antibiotics as she had ingested the myconium and this can cause lung infections so this was precautionary. I was in agony downstairs. My head had gone completely. I didn’t know what day or time it was.

After that, the week in hospital was a complete blur. I was well looked after and so was Charlotte but I struggled so much being apart from her and not being able to hold her. It took me a very long time to get over the birth and the separation at birth. For months I wanted to turn back the clock and ‘do it right’. And I didn’t feel ‘right’ down there for almost a year. I also had panic attacks for over a year and suffered with separation anxiety. All of which I put down to the birth.

All in all it was horrific. Charlotte is almost 3 and a half, and it is only in the last 12 months I have been able to think about having another baby, and how I would try to do things differently. Yes, she is worth every moment of pain and agony, and if that is what it took to have her then I would do it all again because Charlotte rocks me to the core. But I wish we had a birth story than ended with her in my arms rather than on a neonatal resuscitation table fighting to breath. Having said that, I no longer feel I want to ‘put it all right’ and I don’t feel like I failed or anything like that. Time is a great healer. Cliche but true!

17 Nov, 2013

Charlotte has kindly shared her incredible Birth Stories for her 3 gorgeous kids. Following an Ectopic Pregnancy in 2006 Charlotte went on to have a healthy baby boy but not all was so well for Charlotte…

Charlotte’s Birth Stories following an Ectopic Pregnancy

Firstly, in 2006 I collapsed at my Boy Friend’s house (now husband) in a lot of pain, so we rushed up to the hospital to find out it was an ectopic pregnancy. This meant I had to have my right tube removed and I was told it may be difficult to conceive a baby naturally.

In 2008 we conceived our first baby boy. The pregnancy went really well until a month before my due date. I got some pretty extreme tightenings so we went up to the hospital and they said I was 3cm dilated and the baby would be here in 24 hours. We were in shock.

One month later I finally went into labour at 3am on 17th July. I was 4cm dilated and I was sent to the consultant lead unit because of my asthma. My labour continued to get stronger. At 7cm I was already taking gas and air so I decided to have some pethidine. The midwives kept coming in and out of the room, as they do. Then at 9am the midwife came in, then very gracefully left the room to reappear very quickly with another midwife and two doctors!! I started to panic, then the doctor examined me and said “Right, Charlotte, we really need to get your baby out now, your baby’s heartbeat is dropping.”

I didnt feel the urge to push, but I pushed like I have never pushed before, but it wasnt enough. The doctor then said we need to do a forceps delivery. I was given an episiotomy then the doctor placed one forcep in and then the other and clicked them together. Then I pushed as the doctor pulled. It was terrifying. My husband had his hands on his head pacing the room. Then the doctor got her feet on the end of the bed and pulls. Finally his head appeared followed by his body at 9.48am weighing 7lb.6oz!!!

We were over joyed and traumatised at the same time!! (more…)

13 Nov, 2013

Omar is a fella I’ve known for years – we used to work together and via the medium of Facebook, despite both going in other directions, we’ve managed to stay in touch! When I was asking for your Birth Story on the Mum’s Days Facebook page, Omar piped up saying, is he allowed to send his story of becoming a father? But of course!

He has in fact become a father 3 times and it is really interesting to hear the Dad’s perspective on child birth…

Becoming a Father – Omar’s Birth Story

Well we have three, Adam, Aisha and Yousef…

Adam was a breach baby that the doctors and midwives tried to turn and couldn’t. As a result Louise battled, and I mean battled, for 22 hours before they conceded and said let’s go caesarean. They gave her an epidural, which caused them to puncture her spine and cause spinal fluid leak resulting in the most excruciating headache imaginable for three days before they sorted it out with a spinal tap… not to be confused with the band, but in fact another needle in the spine with fluid, etc. I was 22 and Louise 23… I had just graduated without a job and Louise had started her first Job…between us we had £11k per year…we made do with what we had.

Aisha (the moosh) came in the middle of the night. I couldn’t leave Adam as he was asleep and needed to be at school the next day. So I sent Louise to hospital, with my mum in law, fully expecting her to still be in labour by the time I showed up. Imagine my surprise when I turned up and saw a platinum blond, pink eyed girl… I have people with albinism in my family and knew straight away that this bundle of joy is going to take some extra looking after… she is registered blind and is partially sighted though she copes well. She also has to be creamed up against UV light which she has no protection from. Oh and she was born with only gas and air! (more…)

Fran's Two Birth Stories

10 Nov, 2013

All this talk about second babies… Here’s Fran’s experience of her first and her second baby…

Neonatal resuscitation

Fran’s Birth Story

Child no 1,

Approaching my due date, I was feeling fed up and trying to spur things on by drinking my raspberry tea, lots of long walks, drive down bumpy roads and then a bit of hanky panky!  I fell asleep only to wake up 20 minutes later…my waters had gone.  This was 4 days before my due date.

I arrived at hospital  at midnight, and was sent home at 2am. I was booked in for induction on sat morning at 11am.  I went home to bed, pretty restless but managed to sleep. I spent the next day bouncing on my ball and watching DVDs.  My contractions finally started at 6pm but didn’t progress anywhere. I was up most of the night, it seemed more painful when lying down, so I had about 4 baths! I tried the tens machine but didn’t really think much of it.

We went to hospital in the morning for an induction.  I was 4cm dilated so I didn’t need the pessary and was sent straight down to the labour ward. At 1pm I was hooked up to the drip and can honestly say that as soon as the drip was attached my contractions just kept coming one on top of the other.  There was no break in between, I couldn’t even talk. I had some paracetamol and gas and air, and started pushing at 5, nothing happening. There was a shift change at 7, that didn’t help! My midwife went to fetch some help, an old battle axe that thought I just needed a good talking to! That didn’t work, finally I had an assisted forceps delivery and at 8.56pm Aden was born.

It was bonfire night and I was so confused by all the fireworks going off, I kept on thinking it was somebody else entering the room! There where quite a few people in there by the time I had given birth.

The recovery afterwards was awful, though the birth was bad enough.  It was about 6 weeks before I could sit down properly and I was breastfeeding, which was also very painful. I also had mastitis and piles to contend with.

But just 7 months later I was pregnant again…

I was 6 days overdue. I felt a dull ache at bedtime, went to sleep and contractions started at 5.30am. Granny came to pick Aden up at 7.30 and Tom and I chilled out all morning listening to some music whilst bouncing on the birthing ball.  Contractions every 5 mins all day but they didn’t get any closer.  We went for a drive at 2pm, bad idea!! That was so uncomfortable, came home got hospital bag and went for walk in the park, much better idea. My contractions were then 2 mins apart so went to hospital at 4.30pm. 6 cm dilated..whippee. I asked for gas and air again, which came about 30 mins later. I asked for paracetamol, which never turned up in time!

I felt a lot more in control and relaxed this time, we were even doing a crossword in between contractions.  Waters went at, which had meconium in it so I was hooked back on to the bed.  But about 5 pushes later and Elsa was born at 6.51.  I had a small episiotomy due to the scar tissue from before but was all ok and I hardly had any discomfort after (even though the stitches did come apart!!)

So there you have it, both very different and both weighed roughly the same.  Aden 8lb 14oz, Elsa 9lb 2oz.

I think the combination of waters going first and being induced just made it so much more painful, looking back I wish I’d have asked for more pain relief but I really don’t think I was able to communicate properly, I remember the midwives asking Tom if I was a tough cookie but not once did they ask me if I needed anything stronger. I definately didn’t build up a relationship with the midwife like you see on OBEM on telly!!

So much easier second time around 😉

Fran xx


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