My baby is six months old. How did this happen? Half a year ago I had just given birth. It feels like last week.
Little Eddie, born 14th May 2018 at 05:14 am, weighing 7lb 3.5. The new love of my life.
You have probably (hopefully) read my previous blogs including the ones on how we decided to start a family and what my pregnancy was like. I will now tell you the tale of the longest labour in history (well it sure felt like it). Grab your wine, gin or whisky, take a seat and put your feet up.
Warning!!!! If you are pregnant please keep in mind this is only one person’s experience. It is not meant to scare you but I will be honest throughout this blog. Everybody’s labour and birth is totally different, no two are the same!!! Just take a deep breath, you’ve got this, trust me!!
So as I said in my previous blog (My pregnancy) I had a sweep at my midwife appointment on the Friday (11th May 3pm). I carried on my day as normal, went to the shops for a look around then went to my parents for a coffee. I went to sit down on the sofa and got this almighty shooting pain in my bottom that shot to the front too. I literally jumped up and couldn’t sit down, every time I tried it happened again. This lasted for about half an hour. I just assumed it was some random cramp and we all laughed at how silly I looked. Little did I know this was the start.
A few hours later I went home. I really fancied a curry for tea so we ordered a takeaway and I went for a bath. We had a nice relaxed evening watching one of our favourite TV programmes when I kept feeling a tightening across my belly. I assumed it was braxton hicks, as it wasn’t painful and I had been having these for months. I had a few more and they started to feel a little different. Normally I would have one or two and they would disappear. I kept getting them every few minutes. I sat and quietly timed them. I didn’t want to make a fuss in case It was nothing. They were eight minutes apart and they were starting to get a little niggly. Something is starting!!! I got excited. Finally almost two weeks over my due date Its happening. I had been booked in for an induction on the Sunday and was hoping that I would go naturally on my own because all I heard was horror stories.
I told Mr Ormerod what was happening and told him I was going to bed to try and get some rest before the big event really kicked off. It was now 11pm. I was laying in bed trying to sleep but the contractions were getting more painful each time I had one. There was no way I was going to sleep. I went back downstairs and tried to keep myself busy. I did some house work, walked around, bounced on my giant ball thingy. It was now 3am. I couldn’t breathe or speak during my contractions now but they were still only eight minutes apart. I phoned the birthing centre and explained what was happening and they asked me to come in so they could examine me. I phoned my mum, no answer. The only time she never answers the phone!! She rang me back, she had been on the toilet (sorry mum) but she said she had randomly woken up bang on 3am for some strange reason!!!
I gathered my things, got dressed and off we went to the hospital. I had a massive contraction on my driveway and had to hold in a loud moan. It seemed to last forever. It was almost two and a half minutes long. We arrived at the birthing centre. There was a man stood in front of the lift looking very panicked. He couldn’t remember the way to the delivery suit. We pointed (through another contraction) to the next floor up and off he went. I had a little giggle to myself. “This is it” I thought. “our baby is coming!”
An hour later and I am being told to go home. I was only 1cm dilated. How???? I was 1cm at the midwives yesterday!!! I have been contracting for 8 hours now!! I was in agony. They told me I wasn’t in labour and they thought I looked too good when I walked through the door smiling! (I’m just a happy person!!). I cried. How can I be in this much pain and only be 1cm??? They offered me some pain relief (paracetamol and codeine) and put some frankincense on a green piece of gauze for me to smell when I was contracting. Apparently it would help to calm me!!! Well I was not calm. I had several contractions on the way home and I was tired and upset.
Home now, I slinked on the sofa. Another contraction. Getting worse and worse. My mum was on contraction timing duty, while Mr Ormerod was sorting other things out. They were really random now. One would be 3 minutes, one would be 6 then one would be 20. They lasted for almost 2 minutes each time. It was horrendous. I went back on my big bouncy ball thing to try and help my body move things along. I took a sip of Lucozade to try and increase my energy levels, only to throw it back up again during my next contraction. But I wasn’t in labour was I? This went on for the next few hours. I couldn’t cope anymore So I rang the birthing centre again. They told me I was more than welcome to come back but they would probably send me home again because my contractions weren’t regular enough. I was tired, angry and frustrated. I felt like I had just been dumped and the midwives just thought of me as a silly, over worried, fist time mum. It was the question they always asked me “is this your first baby? Awww its scary isn’t it?”
Another couple of hours passed. It was now 11am. 12 hours since my contractions really kicked off. I was done. I was beyond angry. My poor little piece of gauze got thrown across the room and I said a very naughty word. I cried. I Can’t do this!!! If this is what it is like when I am ‘not in labour’, how the hell am I going to cope when it really kicks off?? Mr Ormerod disappeared into the kitchen on the phone. The next thing I know I am being shoved into the car and we are back off to the hospital. My dad insisted on being picked up on the way. I told him to bring me a banana, I needed energy ( he brought me all of the bananas in the house *facepalm*). I am walking into the maternity unit and I hear my name being shouted. I am wearing the things I could find closest to me, a pink jumper, grey leggings, slippers, my hair is in a bun on the top of my head and I have a half eaten banana in my hand (I look beautiful ). I think “shit it’s somebody I work with” and look around, another bastard contraction!! I hear “look at me” so I try and look up and it’s my bloody dad taking a photo!!! He said he just had to get a before pic!! “oh my god dad” I shout as my contraction finishes and I waddle off into the unit.
I don’t have to wait long to be seen as I am literally contracting at the door when a lady runs out with a chair for me. It’s only been 3 minutes since my last one so I must be well on my way now. I am greeted by the midwife who looked after me when I was unwell at Christmas. She is lovely. Very calming and tells me how it is. I like her. She puts the monitor on me, yep contractions are there. Heartbeat is checked and all is well. She examines me. She pulls a face a sighs. I tell her if she tells me I am still 1cm then I am not doing it anymore and the baby can live in there forever. She looks at me with a sympathetic face and says “1 to 2 cm”. I am devastated. Oh my god how???? She asks me for a urine sample so off to the toilet I go. I look down and I am bleeding. I shout her to come and check. She says it’s probably from my examination but they keep me in and don’t send me home. While I am waiting to be admitted a lovely health care assistant comes and offers to run me a bath. “Oh yes please” I say. She adds lavender and camomile to it and there are battery operated candles all around it. I sink into it and I play my relaxation music. I feel so much better now.
My bastard contractions have slowed down to 20 minutes now!! The bath relaxed me so much, apparently this can happen. I am literally left to my own devices now for the rest of the day. I go for walks and bounce on balls. I try and eat but I am just sick if I do. It gets to evening time now and I send Mr Ormerod home to sleep “I will call you if I need you”. By this time my contractions were irregular again. I haven’t been checked on or asked how I am all day by any midwife. I go for a walk up and down the stairs to try and get things going again, when I hear the midwives on the night shift talking about me. I didn’t hear the full conversation because I had a contraction in the middle of the corridor and nobody came to help me. The gist of it was that I should be at home as I ‘wasn’t in real labour and I am just an anxious first time mum’. I was so angry and upset. I went back to my bed. The midwife came to see me (first time since I was admitted). Her words to me were “you know you’re not in labour don’t you?” as she crouched down next me. I starred at her. How I didn’t lose it I will never know. She then asked me if I wanted to go home. I explained to her why they had kept me in and told her if she read my notes she would see that. I also pointed out that it was now past midnight, again if she had read my notes she would see I was to be in by 7am for an induction. By the time I phoned my husband, he got here, took me home and I got settled I would have to get up and set off back. She looked at me with a patronising smile and said “oh I just didn’t want you to think you had to stay.” Bitch. Considering what happened later in my labour, this is what upset me the most.
The night was a hard one. There was me and one lady in the room. The other lady was in with diabetic problems. She had to have her blood sugars tested every two hours. I know this because I was awake all night trying not to make noises when having contractions, which were back to being horrendous (just for info my labour was back to back so all of my contractions were in my back)I never saw a midwife all night. Not even to check on how I was. Mr Ormerod phoned me at 5am. I told him what had happened. He was soon on his way back.
It was now 6am. Mr Ormerod was sitting at my bedside. I was exhausted. The kind of tired that makes you feel like you don’t belong to your body, like you are floating above and watching. I felt like I was being tortured. I felt dehydrated and hungry, but I couldn’t keep anything down. The nasty midwife came back. “oh when did you get here?” she asked Mr Ormerod. I told her he had been here half an hour. She then told him I had slept well!! That every time she checked on me I was asleep! I looked at her and said “you never checked on me once!!!” She looked a bit shocked. She then introduced the next midwife who was taking over my care. Good, off you go!! (bye Felicia!!)
I got on really well with the next midwife, she was so lovely and reassuring. She monitored my contractions “well you are having full contractions” she said. She showed me on the monitor. I laughed “yep I have been having them all this time” there was no change in the intensity of them. They had been full contractions from the start but nobody would listen. She examined me. I was confident that I would be well on my way by now, I’ve got to be over 4cm surely? “2cm” she said. Nooooooooo how???? It’s been 34 hours since this started and I am not progressing! Why?? She went to have a word with the Dr and it was agreed they would go ahead with the induction to get me moving. I had this syringe thing full of gel inserted down below. It wasn’t painful or uncomfortable. I just had to stay on the bed for half an hour after and in 6 hours they would check me again.
When I could eventually get up There was blood on my bed again. I was told it looked like it could be the start of my show. I had another bath (I think this was the 5th now!) and now my contractions were coming thick and fast. I stood up, contraction. I walked to the bathroom, contraction. Got undressed, contraction. Mr Ormerod helped me into the bath and I had one leg about to go over the side to get in and guess what? Yep contraction. One after the other. I couldn’t relax as much in this bath, so I got out. More contractions. It had only been 2 hours since my induction. I was getting a little hysterical now. I was beyond exhausted. I hadn’t slept since Thursday night (it’s now Sunday morning) and all I had eaten was soup and jelly babies. I asked for gas and air and was told I couldn’t have it until I was on delivery suite and that I “wasn’t in labour” I swear to god this is now that caption of my life. I told them they were liars and I knew they had some because I had seen a lady with it the night before!!! (it’s true I did!). I was again told I wasn’t in “proper labour” it was too soon after the induction and I will probably have to have another. I let out an almighty groan with my next contraction that they actually took notice. I was examined again. Guess what? I was over 4cm woooooop. I am off to delivery. Later suckers!! I felt like Rachael off that episode of Friends where she is in labour, It’s finally my turn! They ask if I want to go back to the birthing centre. I tell them no. I want an epidural. I was aware that I was progressing and I was so exhausted that If I had to push soon I knew I wouldn’t be able to. I needed to sleep.
Two hours later I finally got transferred to delivery. I entered the room and literally as I got wheeled in I was handed the gas and air. I looked at my midwife and got excited, It was the nice one from before! Lovely. It was dark now as it was getting late. She put some nice music on, turned on the battery operated candles and I relaxed. I felt safe. My contractions were staying regular now, they were still almost 2 minutes long though. The midwife asked if I still wanted an epidural and I said yes. She explained the anaesthetist was in an emergency at the moment but would come as soon as he could. She gave me an injection of morphine to help me. I went to the toilet and saw the most disgusting thing in my pants. “what the hell is that? ” I shouted. My mum tells me it’s my mucus plug. Gross. I didn’t expect it to be so big! Half an hour later my soon to be new best friend, Tom the anaesthetist walked in. Within 15 minutes I was pain free. I lead on the bed and I slept.
I was woken up a couple of hours later to be examined. I was now 9cm. Fantastic. I went back to sleep (the epidural is the best invention). Another hour later I was fully dilated. The midwife explained that she would give my body an hour and a half for my baby to make its way down the birth canal, then we would have two hours to push. Two hours I thought? I’ve seen it on TV it won’t take that long. An hour and a half later I start to push. Here we go!!
I am pushing with all the strength I have. The midwife tells me when a contraction is coming and I go for it. She tells me I am doing well and my pushes are very effective. I can’t help but feel something isn’t right. I ask if everything is OK and I am told it is. I can feel some cramping in my left bum cheek. Strange, I thought, I shouldn’t be feeling this. It’s getting worse and worse, then all of a sudden I feel all the pain again. My epidural has worn off. Brilliant! I am back on the gas and air and the horrendous contractions are back in full force. I get the feeling once again something isn’t right. I am told my contractions aren’t effective enough and I am only having one in ten minutes. They decide to give me a drip to increase them so I can push more. This was horrible this was a whole different level of awful. Mr Ormerod tells me that during this time a song came on the radio by Sean Paul. I then shouted out mid contraction “Sean Paul” in a Jamaican accent *facepalm*. I remember nothing of this, however they all found it hilarious.
The midwife keeps looking behind me at the screen and going in and out of the room. I ask again if something is wrong. She smiles and says it will be ok. She tells me it has now been two hours since I started pushing. I couldn’t believe it. It literally felt like ten minutes. I knew what this meant. They wanted to intervene. I am not a midwife I am a nurse, but I knew that my baby was far down the birth canal. Probably too far for a c-section.
The consultant came in and I wave my gas and air at him “you are not coming anywhere near me with those salad spoons pal” I shout to him. He looks at me a little puzzled and amused at the same time. There are two doctors in the room and a shit load of other people. I am examined by a lady who is a registrar. She looks at the midwife and asks what position the baby was in on the last examination. “head down” she said. She examines me again. I am in agony. I feel like a puppet. I have no idea what she is doing but it hurts and she has been rooting for a while. I ask her to get off me. She doesn’t. I scream “what are you doing your hurting me!” She tells me the baby has turned his head and he is stuck in my birth canal. They need to get me to theatre now for a forceps delivery or a possible emergency c-section. I beg them to get him out and all I can say is “please somebody just help me”. I am petrified. I demand a c-section but I am told in a very firm voice that it is too dangerous and will only be done if absolutely necessary because of the position of the baby. It could be life threatening for the both of us. I close my eyes as I am wheeled to theatre.
I am now in theatre. I am asked by a man with a big beard to move across to the theatre table. I keep having contractions every time I move my leg. They last two minutes again. I eventually get across and they are shoving all sorts down my IV line. I feel sick, scared and like I’m not even in my own body. My legs are up in stirrups and I have no dignity left. I really don’t care. Please just get my baby out. My epidural is topped up and I am pain free again but also high as a kite. I feel them put the forceps in (no pain, just a sensation). I am chatting away about nothing in particular to try and take my mind off things. I remember talking about blueberry gin. It doesn’t seem long until I am told to push. So I do. With every ounce of strength in me. It is literally like a cheerleading squad in the room. About 20 people (it could have been less but it felt like that many) cheering my name. Then I am told my baby is out. I thought they just meant his head so I kept pushing much to their amusement! I feel this weird “click” down below but think nothing of it. My baby is here. They show me over the drapes and see that I have a boy! I cry. A boy!! I have a baby boy! All I can see is his long arms, huge hands and long legs sprawled out with the worlds most pissed off face and he is screaming! They do their bit then hand him to me. I hold him. I smell him, I breath him in. He is here. He is mine. I am so in love.
A little while later the consultant talks to me. He tells me that I have sustained a 4th degree tear. I have literally torn all the way and through. I don’t care. We are safe. I thank him for everything. I spend the next hour in theatre being stitched and reconstructed. The consultant tells me I may have problems with things like continence for a little while and in the futre. I refuse to accept this and start my pelvic floor exercises as soon as I got feeling back (still no problems to this day!)
After they have finished with me I go back to delivery and eat almost an entire loaf of bread in toast. I am ravenous and I drink multiple cups of tea. The team are happy with me and I go to the maternity ward. I spend the next two nights here recovering. Baby isn’t taking feed very well because he has lots of mucus but he gets better. It takes me a little time to recover but I am up and walking around (like a cowboy) as soon as the epidural wears off. I think about how things could have been and I look down at the worlds angriest baby and smile. I wouldn’t change a thing. I would do it all again tomorrow.
It’s a running joke in my family about how angry Eddie was when he was born. He really didn’t want to come out. He was two weeks over due, a very long labour and physically removed from me. He is a very happy baby boy now and he is growing so fast. As crazy as it sounds I look back at my labour and wish I could do it all again!
Every labour and birth is different but they are all very special. If you are pregnant or thinking about trying for a family don’t be put off by horror stories. People are very quick to share these and not share the positive. I went through a lot but I still see the positive and so can you.
Love Mrs Ormerod
*side note* There was an investigation into the incidents during my labour, from the start to the end. This wasn’t because I put a complaint in, a midwife did. I tore possibly because of “medical negligence”. I did not see it this way. I saw it as they had to get my baby out and they did. They saved his life.
Below are some pictures of my experience. I look like a whale but I really don’t care.