When I get a birth story, I have to decide what it’s about so I can give it a name and categorise it in The Giving Birth Series…for Lori’s story loads of other things happen (a big baby, induction and looooong labour, emergency c-section – which is really moving to read – and big blood loss) but what really sticks out to me is how Lori describes her babies meeting and her feelings to be leaving one at home and not being able to be together as a family. That really touched me! I’ve struggled to think of having a second child but I’m starting to get there and I know there are lots of mama’s who are expecting number 2 so I hope you enjoy this one!
Having a second child – Lori’s Birth Story
Not sure exactly where to start, but here goes. I’m going to write about my second labour, but I’ll mention my first to give a bit of context!
With my first baby, Grace, who was born in 2010 I had a pretty straight forward labour using just gas and air, and this may sound silly, but I actually enjoyed labour. Crazy to say out loud, but I have such fond memories of the whole experience, I can’t help but smile when I reminisce!
Anywho, fast forward to 2012 and I’m pregnant with a little boy (who wasn’t named until he made his appearance!). I had a fairly easy and straight forward pregnancy until week 34. At routine midwife appointment it turns out my bump is big and measuring 38 weeks. People had commented how huge my belly was! Haha!
Lori at 40 weeks
Some tests were ran to check for excess fluid (polyhydramnios) but all seemed ok. I was then referred for extra scans at 37 weeks and although baby was measuring slightly big, I was told it was nothing to worry about.
Fast forward 3 weeks to my due date and I had been in slow labour for 2 weeks. I was 2-3cm dilated, with irregular contractions and not much exciting happening apart from my discomfort. It June as well, so very hot and uncomfortable with a 22 month old to run around after too. My due date was 4th June, and although I’d had a membrane sweep at 39 weeks due to baby’s size and me being in slow labour, not much else had happened. I was sent for yet another growth scan at 40+6 and got a shock! Baby was estimated to be over 11lb!! My daughter was only 7lb10 and was born at 41 weeks.
Queue consultant, midwife and sonographer advising me what to do. They said a planned section would be the best option, to reduce the chances of shoulder dystocia (as seen on OBEM…frightening as hell!). Now, I’m not a stubborn person BUT I had my rose coloured labour glasses on and I didn’t want to miss out on trying for natural, so after 24 hours of decision making and lots of cups of tea (between irritating, niggling, slow labour pains) it was decided I would have an induction at 41+1.
I was booked in for 8am on Wednesday 13th June. I arrived at hospital and had checks done. My midwife felt confident she could break my waters (I was 3cm dilated at this point!)…oh boy did they break….I have never ever witnessed anything like it. I’m a bit of a giggler and I found the whole thing hilarious. The midwife was covered in water, as was the bed, the floor, and all of the surrounding area! The more I laughed, the more gushed out!!! Ha!!
There was meconium present, most likely to due to me being overdue so they began to monitor the baby. Contractions then started to come on quite strong. This was about 11.30am. As well as having my husband in the labour room, I also had my best friend as a birthing partner. We contacted her to let her know things were moving along so she should come to the hospital. Things weren’t moving a long very fast so I was given a pessary to help things speed up. This worked and contractions were stronger. I was put in my own room about 4pm (this is an estimate as things are blurred!). I was then put on an oxytocin drip to help contractions.
I was still leaking a lot of water at this point, which I still found funny! My best friend (Karen) had arrived by this point and I was taking gas and air for the pain….I love gas and air….it makes me feel so happy, and a bit drunk! I also think it makes me sound like a man! My husband had witnessed my reaction to gas and air in my first labour, so he was prepared for the giggles! My best friend, however, hadn’t yet experienced me on gas and air!! Well, I was away with the fairies…. Reliving every funny story I could! We’ve been best friends since we were 3, so there was a lot of funny stories I wanted to relive! Karen and me were so loud and giggly my midwife was asked to close my room door! Hehe!
We were having a hoot and my husband was looking at us as though we had lost the plot (not a typical labour up until this point, although I will point out how amazing Karen was at helping me to the toilet, sorting my hair, feeding me and applying Vaseline to my lips as well as being my giggle buddy!).
I was examined at 7pm (ish) and I was 6cm dilated and things were moving along well. Still on gas and air, still giggling and still leaking water! My hubby and Karen were very supportive and sat eating and watching the tennis whilst I was in agony. Things were still going well until about 10pm I had the urge to push. Serious urge. I had this with my first so remembered the feeling. I went to the toilet to try for a pooh, nothing. Midwife examined me and I was 8cm. Nearly there. I could see the light! She was going to examine me at 12am unless I was ready to push, I was determined to be ready sooner than then! I was very tired though, and the contractions were painful so I opted for a small dose of diamorphine to take the edge off.
It’s been more blurry from this point but my hubby said I was in a lot of pain and contracting lots. The midwife was preparing for me to deliver very soon. She examined me at 12am and I was 9cm, I was devastated. I remember saying I really had to push, but I wasn’t allowed yet! Fast forward 2 hours, even more exhausted and another examination. STILL 9 bloody cm!! So, this is where things went a bit crazy. Baby wasn’t in any danger but given that the scans estimated him to be quite large, they were worried about him getting stuck. About 5 people were in my room, one doctor had her hand on baby’s head and decided he wasn’t going to make it out the natural route! I was gutted…after all of that hard work, I was going to end up with the Caesarian I didn’t want!
Karen and my hubby were prepared for my anger at this, but I remember feeling sad but agreeing that I had to listen to the docs. So, my hubby was rushed off to put scrubs on while Karen was given all the bags and whisked off to the ward to wait for us returning. I remember a funny anaesthetist called Jeremy being there and giving me a spinal block. I remember the look of fear in Andrew’s eyes as we went into theatre. I remember saying bye to Karen and feeling sad she wouldn’t see our baby boy make his appearance into the world! I remember crying and holding the amazing midwife’s hand. I remember telling her to look after Andrew as I was worried about him. I remember being freezing and shivering like crazy. I remember hearing my baby boy cry and I remember crying and seeing Andrew cry as he was handed our gorgeous boy. I remember being sick in my hair (Karen had fed me crisps and chocolate earlier in the evening, delicious at the time, not such a good idea after my body was shocked with an operation!…I’ll live and learn though!! Ha!). The midwife washed it with hand soap and water as I told her the smell was making me want to be sick again!
Max arrived at 03.27am and weighed 9lb5oz….not the 11lb predicted, but still big. He looked huge when he was wrapped up in the sheet and handed to Andrew. I lost a lot of blood (1800ml and still unexplained as to why, just one of those things!) so Andrew took Max to meet Auntie Karen while I was stitched and sorted out. Andrew has since said the amount of blood was scary, but I had no idea at the time.
I was taken to the ward where Max was placed on my chest and immediately started searching for something to eat…a feeling I loved and even made Karen rip the strap on my nightie to make it easier for the little dude (I had a lot of wires connected due to the c-section which were getting in his way!). We were smitten immediately, and I have fond memories of Andrew and Karen attempting to dress Max in a baby grow which was meant for up to 9lb babies…Max was wedged in it! Ha! I think I had convinced myself pre-labour that he was going to weigh no more than 8lb!
Here he is!
Due to my blood loss, I needed to spend 3 days in hospital and needed 2 blood transfusions. I was desperate to get home to our gorgeous girly. She was one of the reasons I didn’t want to opt for a c-section. I wanted to keep things as normal as possible for her. She was with her grannie while I was in hospital, and she did come to meet her baby brother on the same day he was born. Some of the most precious and emotional moments of my entire life were made on the labour ward seeing a 22 month old toddler, Grace, meet a few hours old baby, Max. Suddenly 3 had become 4! Amazing moments. I remember sobbing when she left and she wanted to stay with her mammy. Painful moments.
After 3 days in hospital, Max and I were allowed to leave on Saturday 16th June at 2pm. We went straight to my mam’s house for Grace to spend more time with her brother, and so my mam could fuss over her family, something she loves doing! The c-section did leave me in some pain, but I was mobile within a few days and able to go for short walks. I did make sure I followed the doctors advice on the abstaining for ironing, cooking, cleaning and tidying for at least 4 weeks….instead I enjoyed snuggles with my newborn and my girly while everyone fussed around us! Pure bliss! Xxxxxxxx
First night home
Lush Lori! Thank you so much. I thought that ironing and cleaning abstention was a lifetime one…whoops 😉 xx