Sometimes birth doesn't go to plan.
So, my birth story is as follows. I had a relatively complication free pregnancy, only a slight hiccup at the beginning with high hormone levels, which turned out to be an issue with my placenta. I was able to rectify this by eating healthier, which pretty much mended my placenta in just 4 weeks.
I had zero sickness, no cravings or aversions, no heartburn or back pain (I was super super lucky!!) and only braxton hicks for the last few weeks.
Fast forward to my due date and my baby girl decided she wanted to stay put. I tried walking, bouncing on my birth ball, sex, everything, until I was induced at 41w+4d, I was very ready to have this baby. They first induced me using ProPess, which is a pessary with a string that they place around your cervix, and it releases hormones which help to soften your cervix and start labour. The midwife explained that in 99% of first time labours it doesn’t start off the labour within 24 hours and they tend to use other methods. The pessary went in at 11am, I fell asleep and woke up at 1.30pm in labour, and man was it intense. I was hyper-stimulating, which means my contractions were coming back to back in batches of 3 or 4, 60-90 seconds long, and very strong. I’d get a 1 minute break every 5-6 minutes, and after 15 hours I was just 4cm dilated.
At 4am the following day after 15 hours, I asked for an epidural, which was administered and I finally managed to rest a little.
I think I fell asleep straight away and woke up a few hours later, which I definitely needed. I had to sit up to make sure I still dilated, which gave me quite a numb bum! After 12 or so more hours, I was finally full dilated and it was time to push. I pushed for just over 1 hour, at which point doctors were called in to assist as baby was a little distressed with a swollen head. I only needed an episiotomy in the end and baby was born at 8.39pm. She was quite blue (which I expected as all babies are a little when they’re born), however she was not breathing well and was taken straight to the resuscitaire. Whilst doctors worked on her, doctors worked on me too - I was bleeding uncontrollably and they couldn’t get my placenta out, even after a shot of Syntometrin. The emergency button was pushed and the room was full in seconds. After eventually getting my placenta out, I was still bleeding heavily and doctors said I would have to go to theatre. Before taking me through, they explained that they would try and find the source of the bleeding, but if they were unable to, worse case scenario they would have to perform a hysterectomy to save my life. This was the point where I broke down a little. During all of this, my baby girl still wasn’t breathing properly and being assisted with oxygen.
I was taken to theatre and my partner stayed with the baby, and they worked on me for 1 and a half hours to stop the bleeding.
I was given 2 units each of blood and plasma, endless shots of morphine and other painkillers. I think I reacted to the blood given, as my eyes blew up and I was itching EVERYWHERE. They gave me a shot of antihistamine into one of my many cannulas, which alleviated the reaction immediately. All in all I lost 3 litres of blood, and considering you only have 5-6 litres in your body I felt pretty wrecked by time it was all over.
I went into recovery, whilst baby went to NICU.
I got better later in the day (I felt quite normal by day 4 surprisingly, it was possibly just me focusing on getting better for baby), however baby went the opposite way. She was sedated on morphine and dopamine, and put straight on antibiotics as they suspected she had an infection in either the lungs or the blood. She was on 100% oxygen, however she was not improving. The hospital eventually decided to transfer her to another hospital which could provide a higher level of care, and once she was at the transfer hospital the improvement was incredible. Hour by hour she was reaching milestones that were unimaginable, and by day 5 she was breathing on her own. Day 6 we were breastfeeding and by day 8 we were finally allowed to go home. During the 8 days I also had an injection a day to help avoid blood clots (due to inactivity) and a pure iron transfusion of 200ml.
It’s safe to say that I broke down again when I was finally able to come home after 8 days.
I made it, maybe not safely but with my life and my baby’s life, as we both could’ve easily died that day. If it wasn’t for the fast reaction of the NHS doctors and midwifes, as well as the neonatal nurses and doctors, neither of us would be here today! The support of my partner and family was incredible and I’m very lucky to be writing this today. I wanted to share my story as I wanted to show that no matter what happens, there is always positivity on the other side. Baby is now 8 weeks old and doing so so well. And it hasn’t put me off having children in the future - maybe not for a while though!! :)
Lovely story by D.