Today we hear from Laura about her birth to Max by c section…
I’m Laura, a first-time mum to my beautiful son Max. I live with my partner Ryan, our dog Dexter and of course Max! We live in Kent and until just before Max was born, lived in Folkestone on the coast, but we moved to a new house when I was 39 weeks pregnant and now live around 4 miles inland, in a small village in the countryside.
Where was your birth?
Max was born at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, about 30 minutes from our home and where both myself and Ryan were born.
Did you have a plan about the type of birth you wanted?
All I planned was that I wanted to try and have a waterbirth, at the midwife led unit at the William Harvey, other than that I was open to anything, as long as we were safe, that’s all the mattered to me.
What type of birth did you have?
I had a feeling Max was going to be late and after 2 unsuccessful sweeps at 41 weeks, I was booked in to be induced at 41+4. Off we went to hospital with our bags packed, I was excited and of course a bit nervous. When I was given the first stage of the induction, a pessary, the midwife told me that my cervix was ‘unfavourable’ and that we should go home, and come back in 24 hours if nothing happened, I was really disappointed as I didn’t think we’d have to go home without our baby.
But, off we went and had a lovely chilled evening, and I didn’t have even a slight twinge. We went back the next day and I was given the second stage of the induction, a gel…still nothing! After 6 hours, I was given a second gel and finally, some action, it started with some period type pains and I remember being so excited.
In the meantime, the summer heat was rising and my room on the labour ward reached 31 degrees, my body was not happy, my heart rate and temperature soared, something I’ll actually be forever grateful for, as I was quickly moved to a room with air conditioning, bliss. I was then told the midwife led unit had to be closed due to the heat, so I had to sadly wave goodbye to my waterbirth.
My waters were broken for me, such a strange feeling, and my labour started to progress, and I quickly reached 5cm’s, which was when I decided I wanted an epidural as the pain was getting a bit too much. After that started to work, while the pain went which was such a relief, the contractions slowed, which was so frustrating! I was offered the hormone drip, and this started things off again, although a little to well and it had to be reduced as Max’s heart rate became a bit erratic. However, after 19 hours I had reached 10cms and was ready to start pushing, I was so ready and excited! After an hour of pushing, I seemed to be getting nowhere, and after a few quick discussions with the doctors and examinations, it was decided we needed to get to theatre for a c section. I was a bit gutted as I really wanted a natural birth, but whatever was safest was good for me.
Off we went to theatre, with a student midwife called Fanny (would you believe it!) holding my hand and within 10 minutes Max was born. I’ll never forget the moment I heard him cry and he was lifted over the sheets for us to see… a boy! We hadn’t found out the sex during our scans, but I had a feeling all along and I was right!
Max was very healthy considering the dash to theatre, and I was able to feed him as soon as I had been stitched up and wheeled into the recovery room. Within half an hour we were on the ward and we went home the next day. I did regret not staying in hospital a little longer, as I underestimated how much the Oramorph was helping with the pain! I was in tears when the midwife called the next day and she told me to call the GP and I was prescribed some painkillers and by day 4, I was feeling so much better.
How amazing all the midwives were, we saw 3 shifts worth.
I managed to faint while lying flat on my back, when I came round, I was convinced I’d had a lovely long sleep, apparently it was 6 seconds!
Seeing and hearing my baby for the first time.
Reading my labour notes when I was home and seeing the justification for the c section was ‘immediate threat to life’. I never felt scared or worried, all thanks to the midwives and the rest of the team in theatre, there were 11 of us in total at Max’s birth, I have never appreciated the NHS more.
Best thing you packed in your hospital bag (or used if you were at home)?
Wine Gums! They were for my partner, but I had one between each push and they were the most amazing things I had ever eaten.
Thank you for sharing your special day Laura! If you would like to share your birth story please email me firstname.lastname@example.org