On Sunday 7th of April I went to bed and didn’t feel too great, I was having period type pains and I said to Dec that I don’t think it’ll be much longer until he’s here however at this point I was only 36+6 so in the back of my mind I thought we still have a few more weeks.
On Monday 8th I woke up and started having more period type pains and what I thought were braxton hicks. I went about my day and popped into town to do some bits and then I had a midwife appointment at 2.30. When I was at my appointment I asked her what the difference between braxton hicks and contractions were and she responded with braxton hicks are uncomfortable and contractions are painfully so I just assumed I was having braxton hicks as they weren’t painful (yet!). I headed home and luckily Dec had a day off so I got on the birthing ball whilst he did some bits around the house. I called my mum at about 4.30 and said how I think I might be having contractions but I wasn’t 100% sure so she popped over after she finished work and took Bea home for the night just in case. By this point they were coming every 10 minutes and lasting about 30 seconds so I called the hospital and they advised a bath and to call back when they were longer and closer. I had a warm bath and then tried to have a nap but as soon as I laid down the pain intensified. I told Dec to go for a sleep and I did some housework as I couldn’t stand not doing anything- I needed to get my mind off the contractions. At about 2am the pains started getting worse so I went for another bath but that didn’t help so I woke Dec up and we headed to the hospital.
The hospital is about a half an hour car journey, it’s so strange heading to the hospital knowing that the next time you come home you’ll have a newborn baby with you. We got to the hospital and I was put on a monitor which showed I was contracting every 2-3 minutes and they were lasting about 1 minute. I had been doing hypnobirthing throughout my pregnancy using The Digital Pack by The Positive Birth Company which I can not recommend enough. I was so calm and the midwife said she couldn’t tell I was having contractions as I was breathing through them so well. My mum arrived at the hospital, originally it was just going to be Dec and I but as soon as we got in the car to head to the hospital I called her up and told her to meet us there.
After being monitored and discussing everything with the midwife I was taken to the antenatal ward as I was only 4cm’s dilated and not ready to go to labour ward just yet. We got settled and I went and had a nice warm bath and then got on the birthing ball for a while, I was starting to get really tired and feel quite uncomfortable so I asked for some pethadine as this worked really well in my labour with Bea however it didn’t do anything this time round. I tried to get some rest but I was in a lot of discomfort so I just bounced on the ball until around 7am when I was taken over to the labour ward. I got introduced to my midwife and a student midwife who were so lovely. I was in a lot of pain by this point so I got the gas and air but this wasn’t enough so I opted for an epidural – I was 7cm by this point. Luckily the doctor was on the ward so I got it straight away however it didn’t kick in for about another hour or so, we didn’t think it was going to work to begin with. I was still breathing through my contractions and I was really calm, with Beatrice I was screaming with every contraction however this time round I was so zen and concentrated on breathing in for 4 and out for 8.
I managed to get a bit of a rest thankfully due to the epidural, I put my eyemask on and put my headphones in and zonned out from everything that was going on. This helped so much as I felt like I was recharging myself. At about 12pm I had an examination and I was 9.5cm dilated and my waters were bulging so the options were to wait for my waters to go or have them broken. I decided to have them broken, Max was still quite high up however so the midwife wanted to wait for the doctor to come and assist her break my waters as they didn’t want to pop them and then Max come down too quickly and get his cord wrapped round his neck. I was put in a gown and had a cannula put in just in case we were rushed to theatre. The midwife was so straight forward with me and explained literally everything she was doing as she knew how worried I was from Bea’s birth. The dr came along at about 2ish and my waters were broken, my stomach shrunk so much it was so strange, Max came down really well and then the midwife told me we were going to wait about an hour and then I would start pushing.
An hour flew past and it was time to start pushing, I could still feel when I was getting contractions so whenever they would come along I was pushing like crazy. It’s so strange pushing with an epidural as you can’t really feel anything, it’s just such a weird feeling. I was pushing for around 45 minutes and Max’s heartrate was dropping with every contraction, he was stabilising well in between however I had extra midwifes come in to assist. I continued to push for another 20 minutes or so and then the DR decided that he wasn’t very happy with Max’s heartrate so suggested we head to theatre and try for a ventouse delivery. As soon as I heard the word “theatre” I thought no way this baby is coming out here, now! Whilst they were getting ready to get me to theatre I had another contraction and his head was almost out so we scrapped the idea of going to theatre and instead they gave me an episiotomy and Max made his entrance into the world at 3.23pm! He came out screaming and was placed straight onto my chest which was the most amazing feeling in the world. I wasn’t awake when Bea was born so to be the first one to hold my baby this time round was just incredible.
My plan was to have delayed cord clamping however they thought my placenta was rupturing again so Dec cut the cord quickly and I had the injection to deliver my placenta. Luckily the placenta didn’t rupture and we were able to get it made into capsules (I will be writing a seperate blog about this). I had skin to skin for a while and then passed him over to Dec as I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open. Dec had lots of skin to skin whilst I was stitched up and then he was weighed and checked over.
From having a very traumatic CAT1 c-section where both Bea and I very nearly died to a calm, amazing VBAC was just incredible. I was so scared before I started doing my hypnobirthing but it honestly was the best thing I could have done.