The lovely Jo from our stockist Mini Maison, shares her birth story…
This is the story of my first birth, with my eldest Joshua in 2013.
Where was your birth?
In Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford.
Did you have a plan about the type of birth you wanted?
No, but I do believe that it was the right birth for the situation. I had gone to NCT classes and listened to a hypnobirthing CD but I was sceptical about it all. To be honest, I was petrified of giving birth. I have a really low pain threshold and so as much as I tried to prepare myself for labour, in my heart of hearts I was scared of it, which probably wasn’t a great place to start!
What type of birth did you have?
I went into labour naturally on my due date (my contractions started in Hobbycraft!) and after around 6 hours my contractions were quite close together and very painful so we the midwives told me to come into hospital. When I arrived I was told that I wasn’t ready yet but that it wouldn’t be long and that I should go home and wait. But one of my best friends had done this a few weeks earlier and had almost had the baby on the way back to the hospital… I was too scared to go home and the midwives said I could stay, so I did. After a few hours I was sent through to delivery suite as I was told I was now 5cm dilated. However, hours and HOURS later, I wasn’t progressing despite the frequent and painful contractions. The midwives decided to kick start PROPER labour with the breaking of the waters, then pessary and then the drip for an induction but nothing seemed to work. I lasted without an epidural as long as I could but I did have an active epidural and I walked around the room for what felt like days. Eventually though the top-ups meant that I couldn’t walk around anymore – then we had problems with the epidural and I was left mostly on gas and air; by this stage I was exhausted. And 24 hours after I was admitted, and 29 since my contractions had started, my cervix still hadn’t made much (any) progress. I was TERRIFIED of having a forceps delivery and a traumatic birth, or the baby getting stuck (I had gestational diabetes so this was a real concern) and I asked if I could have a c-section. The baby started showing signs of distress so the medical team agreed that a c-section was the safest option, and off we went to theatre.
Seeing my baby being held above the screen so that I could announce the gender (we went for a surprise first time around). We had an incredible anaesthetist who said that she’d hold our camera for us and take some photos once the baby was born (obviously unless there was a problem). And she captured that moment on camera, which is such a lovely thing to have.
I remember getting him weighed and finding out he was a bit of a chunk and getting him dressed, and then 5 hours after Joshua was born my husband was sent home (that’s changed now though, partners can now stay overnight) and there I was with a newborn, MY baby on our own. I had to take care of him and I felt such a huge responsibility on my shoulders, but most of all amazement that he was here and that I made him. I didn’t want to put him down but I was also SO tired.
Best thing you packed in your hospital bag?
Snacks for my husband! Obviously the woman does the hard graft but the birth partners have such an important job to do and it must be pretty boring sitting there offering words of wisdom for 24 hours! Also, BIG pants – like massive! Also, I used a TENS machine from the moment the contractions started and despite how things ended I do think it helped a lot.
I also had taken some toiletries and it was so nice, once I was allowed to move around, to have a shower with my lovely smelling shower gel.
Anything else you would like to share?
I packed SO much in my hospital bag and used hardly any of it (including a scented candle!).
Even though some people might read my birth story and think it sounds horrific, actually for me, I’m happy with how it happened, because I was really so scared of giving birth in a traumatic way and something going terribly wrong with the baby. I’ve since gone onto have an elective c-section and the baby I’m pregnant with at the moment will also be born by c-section. One shouldn’t really have regrets but I do wish I’d worked through my fears properly before my first baby so that would have stood a better chance of giving birth naturally, successfully. I will always be grateful though for having two healthy boys and that’s all I really care about – in the grand scheme of things I don’t really care how they arrived.
Thank you so much for sharing Jo! If you would like to share your birth story with us, drop me an email info@ mamadesigns.co.uk (no spaces)