Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The very first adventure...Daisy's birth story.

So Daisy is almost 9 months, thought I should get round to writing this.
Its quite a story, and a long one at that! Be warned some parts are graphic! Please bear in mind I had a traumatic birth, if you don't want to hear about it, stop reading now!

Daisy was due on the 9th November 2012.

This is the last photo of me and my bump at 39 weeks

I started having 'twinges' during the night on Sunday 4th November, and couldn't sleep, I convinced myself they must be braxton hicks, maybe I was in denial. They continued throughout Monday morning, and were irregular and gradually slowed so thought nothing of it, I did have some show, and called the birth centre at St Helier Hospital were I hoped to have my 'perfect birth' according to the plan I had made...they said it sounded like the early stages of labour, and things would probably pick up again come night time, I did some ball bouncing hoping to help things along. Adrian came home from work and was putting some dinner on, I had the most almighty contraction, which took my breath away, I went to the loo and there was a fair bit of blood, which worried me I said we need to go in now...

So off we went to St Helier birth centre, contractions still irregular, the midwife said that she was quite sure I was still in the early stages and that 'there was not much point in examining me unless I wanted her to' as it was my first and I was not having regular contractions, (I am sure around now they started becoming so!) I would love to know how dilated I was then... She gave me some paracetamol and told me to go home, try and get some rest, have a bath, relax etc, so around 9pm we went home intending to do just that, once home I got in the bath, the contractions were now becoming much stronger, all my plans for no pain relief were fading fast, I told Adrian I couldnt cope with the pain and to call the hospital and tell them I wanted an epidural, which he did, around now I felt a huge urge to push, and was pretty terrified I was going to have this baby right here in the bath, Im not sure how I managed to get out the bath and get dressed but I did, and back in the car we got, I had my eyes shut and was gripping the seat and door all the way (about a 15/20 minute drive at this time of night) back at the birth centre around 11pm the same midwife examined me...'OH well you are in so much pain because you are 10cm already!' I couldn't believe it, and felt rather smug I had managed this far on no pain relief, they said they weren't sure there was time to fill the pool for the water birth I dreamed of, I got in and thought wow, im going to get the perfect birth I had planned, quite confident baby would come out in a few short pushes....
how wrong could I be...

Quite a few puffs of gas and air and an hour later, I was still pushing, my contractions had slowed, so they convinced me to get out the pool and walk around, not much fun, walked up and down the corridor, hung off Adrian, did some undignified squatting!!! Still nothing. They told me much longer and they would have to 'intervene' Around 2am I then had to go a short walk to the labour ward, what I really didn't want, I had to have a drip to kick start contractions again which was quite unpleasant, and a catheter to see if a full bladder was stopping baby coming, a doctor came to see me and looked at the clock and literally said you have until 2.20am to push this baby out, if nothing happens by then we need to use a ventouse, which will mean an episotomy I was really scared of this happening but so exhausted I was now in quite a state of upset! I was determined not to have any intervention, I pushed so hard I literally used my last energy resources, finally they said they could see the head, what happened next is quite a blur, some point they realised Daisy was stuck, with the cord around her neck, called a shoulder dystocia, where the shoulder is stuck behind your pelvis, the emergency alarm was pressed, what seemed like loads of people rushed into the room, here is when I shut my eyes and basically shut myself off from what was happening to me...some people grabbed my legs, some pushed on my tummy, and I felt some yanking going on, I felt so out of control, the doctor explained later they had to reach in, find her arm and pull her out by it...when I opened my eyes I saw a floppy looking baby, which for some reason I thought looked like a boy!! I can only describe how I felt now as completely and utterly exhausted beyond belief, relief that the baby was out, and for a few seconds I didn't care about anything. Stunned. In shock...physically and mentally...Daisy was taken straight away, and given oxygen, Adrian said he saw her head come out blue. I realised with all the commotion no one said the usual, its a boy/its a girl! Adrian went to find out, he was pretty stunned from seeing it all happening too! A girl he said! I couldn't believe it, I hadn't told too many people I desperately wanted a girl, and was being told thought out the pregnancy my bump looked like a boy! When they handed me Daisy I had to actually check she was a girl as I didn't believe it! I looked at her and said Daisy straight away, she is Daisy isn't she!? I said to Adrian. :) I couldn't even cry I was so exhausted.

This is one of the first photos of Daisy shortly after she was born, I am not looking or feeling my best!

I don't really remember the placenta being delivered, I do remember being stitched up very painfully afterwards, they had to cut me on top of everything else! Daisy was born at 2.31am, weighing 9lb. I was lying in that bed until 5am! Sweaty, in pain, uncomfortable :(
Finally I could get up and move to the suite in the birth centre, the midwife helped me have a shower, I could barely stand up, then it was like I almost forgot there was a baby, I saw this thing by the bed in one of those see through plastic cribs, all wrapped up with a hat on, so just a little face fast asleep, the room had this weird mood lighting which kept changing colour, a little surreal without being almost deliriously exhausted, I remember thinking Daisy looked like a little doll, or an alien (green lighting)! A cute one at that. I was so physically tired, but my brain was wired, and I just couldn't stop looking at her, she was completly perfect, and there was no way I was sleeping!

Daisy all cleaned up and snug as a bug

You think my ordeal is over,! 
Every time I stood up I felt short of breath and had chest pains, I think now this was dehydration but they had a doctor look at me who thought I may have a collapsed lung!! Then I thought I was going to die! I said to Adrian oh but this would be a really bad time to die!! :( 
So they sent me for a X-ray, this is while Adrian was moving the car, the porter was wheeling me down the corridor, at 7am, so luckily was pretty quiet, I burst into tears as felt so overwhelmed and traumatised by the birth.
I felt like I had been run over by a bus, every muscle in my body ached. The X-ray came back clear, and I was left alone to rest, all was well during the day, Daisy slept a lot, I tried breastfeeding a bit, it seemed to be going ok, evening came, I sent Adrian home to get some rest, I was looking forward to going home in the morning, I went to look at Daisy sleeping and noticed she had been sick, it looked green, I called the midwife and asked if this was normal, she called the doctor who examined her, explained the green stuff was bile, which she shouldnt be bringing up, and said they needed to do some further tests, they would need to take her down to the Neo Natal unit, but not to worry, it could be anything, the most serious things mentioned were a twisted bowel, a blockage in her tummy, even meningitus, they had to investigate, of course I immediately feared the worst and was fraught with worry, but worst of all I would be separated from my baby who I had only just met. They wheeled her down and explained they would take some blood, do a lumbar puncture, and put her on an antibiotic drip, they advised me to leave as seeing her stuck with needles would be upsetting, too right! I was a wreck, couldn't stop crying and thinking the worst, would she survive, would she need surgery. I had to spend the night on my own without her, I managed to get some sleep somehow, and woke up in the morning, desperate to know how she was doing. The doctor came first thing and said I could go and see her, when I did she had a tube coming out her nose from her stomach, and a cannula in her tiny hand, it was heartbreaking. To cut a (getting longer!) story short, they did so many tests, but nothing came back, they said it was an infection of some sort, in total she was in neo natal for 3 days, and with me for another 2, it felt so much longer! I was so desperate to go home, although being in hospital has its advantages, the food not being one of them. I do have to say the midwives and most of the staff were fantastic, very supportive and caring and all the staff in neo natal do such an amazing job. I was so lucky to be in St Helier, I can't believe they want to close that maternity unit. 
After a little embarrassing issue with the car seat straps at last we took our Daisy home on the evening of Saturday 10th November.
I still feel sad about what happened with the birth, I would definitely say I've been traumatised, it was in no way what I wanted or imagined, I feel I was cheated of the beautiful experience birth should be. I know I was lucky Daisy was ok and healthy at the end of it but it has made me scared of having another, I would really like to, hopefully things will be better second time around...

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