Birth Story

I think it is about time that I got Ben's birth story down 'on paper' before I totally forget everything! What I do remember about the process is that it didn't hurt and I felt so much more in control of myself than I did with Ruth's birth.

Ben was born on Monday 8th March 2010, 18 days early.

The day before, we had gone to lunch with some good friends (who incidently, we had dinner with 5 days before we found out we were pregnant with Ruth, and then again a week before she was born), and had gone to watch their eldest in a football match during the afternoon. I did a lot of walking! I remember coming back to the house to use the facilities and remember feeling rather niggly and uncomfortable but didn't think anything of it because I had been having braxton hicks contractions for weeks, and also had terrible sciatica.

On the way home from these friends, we called into some other friends to pick up our birthing ball that we had loaned to them. They invited us in, but I really just wanted to get home as I was just feeling uncomfy and tired. So we got home, I walked up the front path, and my waters went halfway to the front door. I dashed inside to the bathroom to discover that there was blood in my waters which totally freaked me out and I panicked. We called the hospital, and Hubby's mum to come and look after Ruth as I had to go in to be checked.

I had only just packed my hospital bag that week! I had been meaning to do it for ages, but never got around to it. So we arrived at the hospital where they monitored me and found Ben to be a happy chappy so there was a reduction in urgency. I also had a scan to see if they could tell where the bleed was coming from and there was nothing to see, except confirmation that Ben was indeed Ben and not Benjamina. I was checked and found to be 'not a lady in labour' even though I was having contractions every 5 minutes. I spent a couple of hours walking the hallways and stairs to try to get things moving, but nothing progressed. So I was given the choice between staying down on the delivery suite overnight, or having Hubby go home and me going up to the ward. I chose to go up to the ward to let Hubby get some rest. I had my Tens machine on from that point onwards. Medically, it was decided to see if anything happened overnight (by this time it was 1am) and if I still wasn't in labour in the morning, I would be induced.

Upstairs, I had an entire ward to myself and I kept my tens machine on and got some rest. I figured that if they were going to induce me anyway the next day, then I would get some rest, and not pace the floors or bounce on balls to get things moving.

The following morning I was woken around 6am after a fitful night and told to get ready and get some breakfast as they would be taking me downstairs at 7.30am to be induced as things were pretty much the same as they had been 7/8 hours previously. I wandered down to the breakfast room and just about held it together until a lovely lovely lovely health care assistant asked if I was ok and then I just broke down, because I was so anxious about how it was all going to turn out. I had hoped for a gentle water-birth and now had visions of being hooked up to drips and monitors until Benjamin was born. The HCA (who was half my height!) just have me a huge hug and said I'd be ok and she'd see me later with a baby!

Hubby arrived about 7.30am and we sat and waited. And waited. And waited. All this time I was still getting contractions 5 mins apart and the Tens machine was still going, using the boost button when a contraction. I found it far more useful during this labour than I did last time.

So, 9.30am we finally arrived down on the delivery suite. I was hooked up to the monitor again and Benjamin was still very happy. A doctor came in and examined me and found me to be 3cms dilated. Praise the Lord! He popped the rest of my waters and said he'd be back in a couple of hours to give me the induction drugs. When he left, Hubby and I were left pretty much alone, so I hopped off the bed and started pacing the room. At this stage, I was walking from the bed to the window and back, about 10 or so steps, and I was managing to do 2 or 3 circuits before a contraction hit. When I contracted I made it back to stand by the bed and the fabulous gas and air machine, which I used very effectively while leaning on the bed. Before too long, I was only managing 2 laps between contractions, and then one. At this point, the midwife tried to get a canula into my hand for the induction drugs, but she couldn't get it to work. So the head midwife person tried and she couldn't get it to work. So the anaethatist was called and he put the canula in my hand. All this time, I was contracting like mad, and sucking on the gas and air!

Then the doctor came back in and saw me puffing on the gas and air, and just said 'I don't think I'm going to be needed here!' and left. No drugs, praise the Lord!

Soon after this point, I felt the contractions change in how they felt. I couldn't describe it, I just knew they were different and said that this baby would be joining us for lunch. Then I got worried about Ruth and made Hubby call his mother who was still looking after Ruth to tell her there was moussaka for her in the freezer for her lunch! I got very emotional at this point as I was missing Ruth like mad.

I think it was then that the contractions just kept on coming and coming and coming, and I felt my body starting to push. All the way along, I had hoped for a really natural birth with no intereference from medical staff or by drugs, and while I'd had a little more intervention at the beginning due to the bleed, at this point I was totally where I wanted to be. I was working with Hubby on keeping my body, but especially my arms relaxed, and picturing palm trees swaying gently in the wind really helped. Silly, but it worked for me.

I pushed for about 20 minutes and nothing was happening, so the midwife examined me. That was the single most painful time of the whole labour and birth experience and I just screamed and screamed. All that self control went straight out of the window the second someone else (other than Hubby) touched me. She even scolded me for screaming, saying that I'd frighten someone. But anyway, she found that there was a lip on my cervix that hadn't quite got out of the way and it was stopping Benjamin from being born. So she suggested lying on my side as I had been kneeling up over the back of the bed to birth Benjamin. Lying on my side was wonderful, it felt so so good to rest my head and once that feeling of relaxation coursed through my body, one more push and Benjamin slithered into this world at 1.10pm at the rate of knots! He needed a little bit of oxygen when he was born as he was born so quickly, but other than that he was fine. I was in shock, and got all quite shakey and cold while they cleaned us up. But that didn't last long and I was able to feed Benjamin before Hubby dressed him.

This was an amazing birth experience, and I would say that while I felt immense pressure, it wasn't painful until the midwife examined me. I loved this experience and would do it again. If only I didn't have to do the pregnancy bit beforehand!