I have a consultant meeting on Tuesday morning to talk about possible early induction with this rather punchy baby boy currently residing in my tummy. Despite having a very natural labour with Elsa, we feel it’s the safest option for me and baby R considering my ‘history’. I thought I’d tell you all my unusual birth story.
Elsa was born after 40 minutes on our ensuite bathroom floor, 2 weeks early.
At 3.30am on Tuesday 14th May 2013 my waters popped (it really felt like a balloon had been burst inside of me) and woke me up. Excitedly, I woke up Joe who began to try to get together a hospital bag (which I hadn’t packed..unusually unprepared for me) whilst I casually decided to do my hair and makeup. I now realise how ridiculous it is to attempt to make yourself look presentable for those post-birth pictures which even after such a quick labour, weren’t pretty.
My first contraction came strongly and I started timing them using an iPhone app. I had 3 contractions (2/3 minutes apart) before all hell broke lose and the next 30 minutes were like watching an episode of SAW.
Unfortunately, despite screaming at the top of my lungs and squirming around like I had been possessed, my lovely husband didn’t quite know what was going on and proceeded to tell me to ‘shut up or you’ll wake the neighbours’, ‘calm down’, ‘you’re being ridiculous’ and so on….I can’t really blame him as I’d have also thought I’d met the worlds biggest drama queen after being in that state after a mere 10 minutes of labour.
After calling Poole hospital, he decided the best option was to attempt to get me dressed and drive me there to be examined. All well and good apart from my screams of ‘THERE’S SOMETHING THERE!!!’ and after him quickly running across our bedroom, Elsa Mary Amor Valentine fell into his arms on the ensuite floor weighing 7lbs 15oz.
It took 20 minutes after she was born for an ambulance to arrive, shortly followed by my mum who after realising Joe wasn’t playing a practical joke on her, must have broken all speed limits possible to arrive in a blubbering mess to check all was ok. An hour after her birth a midwife rocked up to tell me I was unrepairable ‘down there’ and I’d have to go in the back of the ambulance to be sorted out.
Joe had never held a baby before and I was not in a good way. Whilst the paramedics focused on getting me into the ambulance, he was left with our tiny bundle to get dressed and fit into a brand new car seat (as ambulances don’t have car seat facilities) to then drive behind us to Bournemouth hospital.
We left hospital after what felt like a billion stitches and embarked on our first day of parenthood with all our family & friends visiting to meet our beautiful daughter who evidently takes after her impatient mother. Joe had the lovely job of scrubbing the blood which was literally everywhere including up the walls 🙂
Unfortunately after a few days a midwife realised all was not quite right and I was rushed to A&E for several blood transfusions. I had haemorrhaged and as nobody was there, they were unable to see how much blood had been lost and I was severely anaemic.
It is usual for labours to get quicker with each subsequent birth, so my fear is that if baby R decides to come during the day, I might have to give birth alone (or worse, with Elsa around) and Joe would miss the birth of his son. Absolutely no chance of making it to hospital in time!
When it comes to birth, and especially making a birth plan, my suggestion is ‘prepare to be unprepared’. I thought I was prepared for everything – being overdue, a long labour, assisted delivery, even emergency c-section. I never in a million years would have expected to have such a short intense labour, especially for my first baby.
You may want a nice natural water birth, but until you are in the heat of the moment you will have absolutely no idea what you want. You won’t even care about the birth plan you pondered over or if your husband looks ‘down below’. You’ll beg for drugs you swore you’d never touch.
When people say to me ‘oh you had it so easy’ I remind them of what the midwife told me as I was being stitched – “you’ve just run a marathon which normally takes runners 4 hours in 10 minutes”. It was hard and beyond scary as I had absolutely no idea what was going on and why I wanted to literally die after 10 minutes of screaming my head off when I had another god knows how many more hours of this torture. I could never get on top of the pain and my body had absolutely no chance of adjusting or preparing.
I can’t remember the below pictures being taken at all – I even had to be coaxed to hold Elsa!