So here it goes; the big post and the one that has been put off ever since my little squidge was born; the birth story.
No one can ever prepare you for your birth. I read a tweet only this morning, where a girl claimed that there were so many things that were comparably more painful than childbirth. I would like to respectfully disagree, but that’s just me.
Madeleine arrived five days late. I always tell everyone that it was four, but the entire two days that I was in labor seemed to merge into one. After bouncing on my ball and doing everything mentioned in my previous post I was finally triggered into labor by an impromptu sweep at the hospital. This was after a sizing scan as Madeleine was measuring 36 at 41 weeks. I decided whilst I was there to drop by the delivery suite and mention to them that I was having cramps and it was then that I received sweep number two (number one was at the GP surgery earlier in the week). The lovely midwife that began the process of Maddie’s birth asked me and my mum to have a walk around the hospital for an hour and to then return to review my status. In that hour I managed to go to the staff canteen and eat a full Christmas roast (it was December), walk two loops of the hospital and chill a bit outside the chapel before losing the rest of my plug (you’re allowed to gag at that). When I returned I was then told that I could go to the ‘Dolphin suite’. My brain instantly went to Dolphin sounds and I wasn’t far off. I went into a room that was the birthing woman’s dream. I was laid in a bath whilst listening to music off my phone and surrounded by fairy lights. Great right?! No.
I never mentioned that I had originally gone for my scan at 11 am. By 5 pm I was now sitting in a bath, in my bra, waiting for it to be constantly reheated by the on call midwife. At 7 pm there was a switch over of day and night staff and here is where my experience went seriously downhill. The pain from my contractions was now slowing increasing and the nice ladies from the day shift had now left. Their replacement was the lady whom I named ‘Theresa May’. She was the old school type of midwife that didn’t recognise pain or the fact that I had been in the same room for nine hours. She also looked like the British Prime Minister. After two more sweeps (taken whilst I was on the complimentary bean bag) she decreed that I had to go home as I was not progressing from 3 cm dilation. After loudly inquiring ‘don’t you have to go negotiate Brexit?!’ I was wheeled to the car park and made to experience six hours of absolute hell.
My parents invited Daniel and I to stay at their house in my sister’s old room. The logic being that if I went into labor we could all travel up together and have support in numbers. It took until about 1 am when I was making noises way beyond screaming that my Dad finally walked up the stairs and said that it was enough; they were taking me back to hospital. Of course when I arrived back on the delivery suite I had dilated by nothing. Maddie was adamant not to move but just to cause me pain. I was told that I could spend the night in labor on a ward by myself or that I had to go home. I of course went home after voicing my opinion on how the system was broken and that if a woman was in labor that her partner should be able to accompany her. It still baffles me that this is a thing and I consider it a form of abuse towards birthing women.
When I think about this from both during and after birth my eyes water and I have to close it off. As a woman you are going through one of the most terrifying ordeals of your life and upon asking to have your partner present you are almost laughed away as if you are taking liberties. Either way I believe that I may have told them to shove it up their arses whilst also thanking them for teaching me the breathing exercises that I had missed from not going to prenatal classes.
Thanks to those breathing exercises Daniel and I managed to get to 8 am laying and puffing in my parent’s lounge until I finally drew the line and asked to be taken back to the hospital. My parents followed in close convoy and on the first roundabout I thought that my waters had broken (I had just peed). It was obviously that this was now ‘go time’ and I was nervous, but there was no way that I was prepared for what was to come next…