***WARNING – THIS IS VERY VERY VERY LONG!!!***
On Wednesday 29th November at 4.30 PM, Paul took me to Derby City Hospital for my Induction of Labour Assessment. When I got there I was asked to choose which one out of 2 beds I wanted – either the one opposite the door or the one in the far corner so I chose that one. The first thing I did after sitting on the bed was plug the charger and battery in for the digital camera – all one of the midwives said was “do you know anything about this?” and I said “yes” (when she saw it lmao). I then had to do a urine sample in this stupidly tiny box thing which was made out of what can only be described as egg boxes lmao and then was strapped to the CTG machine and had the baby’s heart rate monitored and the midwife (who kept coming and going lmao) talked to me about what would happen. The plan was for me to have a prostaglandin tablet inserted at about 7 PM then they would leave me overnight and check me again in the morning. I was left on the monitor for about 2 hours or so although the midwives did keep coming in and checking on me and for example took my blood pressure, pulse and temperature (as well as the readings from the monitor) on a regular basis. I spent those 2 hours reading some magazines (Rock and MCN), listened to music (Oasis – The Masterplan, Bryan Adams – Anthology and Manic Street Preachers – Everything Must Go) and talked to Paul. Time seemed to go so slow. I didn’t think I’d spend 2 hours on the monitor until the tablet was inserted as my midwife on the Monday told me that I’d be monitored for about ½ an hour.
At 6.45 PM the midwife inserted a prostaglandin tablet which I found very uncomfortable so I held Paul’s hand and looked away and cringed. Not long after my contractions started which were very regular and painful, eventually a few minutes apart and lasting 1 minute. Not long after that I went to the toilet (because for some reason I felt better sitting on it rather than the bed) and I was wiping and had a bloody mucus show (and a lot of it) and this and the contractions carried on all through the night and I was being sick between every contraction. Strangely, being sick took my mind off the contractions and by the next day I managed to fill 4 of these funny shaped boxes made out of the stuff they use for egg boxes which I was quite surprised about seeing as I hadn’t eaten for 2 days!! Paul left me at sometime between 10 and 11 PM.
I didn’t sleep at all that night. I seriously couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I thought the sickness and contractions would never end. I was in despair and a lot of pain. I didn’t think I could take anymore. I never thought I’d get through it. I kept feeling like I needed the toilet (sorry if TMI) but that is honestly how I felt. Luckily the toilet was exactly opposite my bed which proved to be a good thing. One minute I was on the toilet being sick and whimpering in pain and the next minute I was sitting in bed in agony. I tried walking round the room to see if that eased it in any way but it didn’t. I also tried lying down, on my back, on both of my sides, I tried sitting up, back, forward but nothing helped. The pain was so intense.
All night I had people in and out so even if I had managed to sleep, I don’t know how they would have expected me to actually sleep when they were wiring me upto the monitor, taking it off me, taking my blood pressure, pulse and temperature etc. I ended up calling Paul at 1 AM in tears because I was in so much pain and wanted him to be with me for support and a cuddle etc but he wasn’t allowed. One of the midwives saw how uncomfortable I was and how much pain I was in so she gave me 2 paracetamol, 2 diclofenac and a codeine. None of them helped, not even a bit. I honestly didn’t feel any different. To be honest, I didn’t have any idea if they would help or not. I just took what the midwife offered me.
I tried some things to try and take my mind off the sickness and contractions such as reading, writing in my diary and listening to music. I spent the night and early morning watching the sun rise through the window next to my bed, hoping and wishing that this would be all over soon. I was constantly changing my maternity towels because I constantly had some bloody show coming away. I felt very scared and frightened, even more so because I was the only person on the ward – there was no-one else all night. I kept looking at my phone all the time, wishing time would go quicker – one minute it was midnight then 1 AM, then 2 AM and so on.
I couldn’t wait for 9 AM to come round. I was counting down the hours and midwives and various people were still coming in and out, asking me if I couldn’t sleep and I said no. When I had the tablet inserted, I was told that they would continue monitoring me throughout the night and would check me at about 9 AM in the morning – at least I had something to look forward to, something to focus on through the pain. The advised me just to lie down, close my eyes and try and sleep but I had tried this many times and couldn’t sleep as I was in so much pain.
After about 2 or so hours (but what felt like an eternity) one of the midwives came in to check something (the monitor I think) and she asked if I was ok and I gave her an honest answer – no and I asked if there was any chance I could have some more pain relief as I was finding the pains hard to bear but she said that it hadn’t been long since I had my last lot so I wasn’t able to have any more. I was absolutely exhausted. The previous night I hadn’t had any sleep so was shattered. At one point I was sitting up in bed after coming back from the toilet and I was holding my “sick bucket” in front of me (incidentally, the small container I was given to be sick in was exactly the same as the one I had been given to do urine samples in) and I was that tired that I nodded off for a second and woke up and somehow I ended up with sick all over my bed sheets (sorry if TMI) so they had to be changed. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed about having to get one of the midwives out to come and change my bed sheets :oops:
I was so thirsty from being sick so I had lots of cups of water next to my bed but I just ended up throwing them back up. I couldn’t keep anything down. Finally 9 AM came. The minutes went by and no sign of Paul although I think he did turn up at either 9.30 or just after. As usual, there were people in and out as I was expecting to be examined at about 9 or there abouts and told I would need at least one or two (or maybe more) tablets. When I had my first tablet inserted the midwife who did it said that my cervix was closed and high and hard to reach and said she thought I would need at least 2 more tablets as she thought it was more than likely that the first one wouldn’t work.
Paul was a great help, talking to me and trying to make me laugh and also giving me massages (which didn’t help in all honesty but felt nice) and I carried on reading and listening to music and got more and more annoyed with the strap belt things that were on my belly and digging into me. I found that sitting upright but leaning forward helped a little but then the midwives saw me do this, they told me to try leaning backwards because with me leaning forwards, it wasn’t picking up the baby’s heartbeat (something to do with where the straps were).
At 11, this group of merry men (sorry women lmao) came round and the midwife told me who they were. There was a woman doctor who looked just like Fern Britton, there was this Irish nun looking woman who looked like she had just stepped off the set of Sister Act lmao, this Indian student midwife and this other oldish midwife and the doctor asked me how I was and asked me some other things which I can’t for the life of me remember what they were lmao. Anyway, a little while after, the nun looking lady gave me an internal examination which again was uncomfortable and not that pleasant so I held Paul’s hand and after what seemed like a lifetime she said to my surprise that I was 5-6 cm dilated and that if I wanted her to that she could break my waters.
I was so surprised as the midwife the night before said that I’d more than likely need a second or possibly third tablet. I agreed to her breaking my waters but I didn’t like the look of the plastic hook going inside me though lmao. I’m not sure what happened after that but I think I imagined that my waters would trickle out and I can’t remember that happening. I can’t actually remember what happened between 11 AM – 2 PM but I can remember repeating “oo my back” about 100 times lmao and I can remember having some more paracetamol, codeine and diclofenac. The midwife asked me if I’d like pethadine and as the pain was so bad, I agreed and had that. To be honest, the pethadine didn’t have any effect on me whatsoever and didn’t dull the pain at all in the slightest. I was still constantly feeling sick and couldn’t bear the thought of eating anything so I didn’t have anything
The midwife asked me to change into one of those foul, unflattering hospital gowns (which strangled me – I hate things around my neck lmao). At 2 PM the midwife led me and Paul to the delivery room. The midwife was on my left and Paul on my right and they had their arms under my arms and had to in a way carry me in there because I was in too much pain to walk on my own. I got on the bed and remember being hooked up to some sort of monitor as I remember there were wired everywhere and I caught one with my foot – I remember that as it was the midwife who told me :oops:
I was asked by the midwife if I’d like to try gas and air so I thought I’d give it a go as I had nothing to lose. As soon as the midwife told me how to use it, I wasn’t ever off it lmao. It was weird getting the hang of using it but it soon became second nature lmao. The mouth piece kept somehow coming away from the pipe lmao. After about the first 3 inhalations, I felt out of it, as high as a kite and as if I’d been up Ashbourne on an all night bender lmao. It reminded me of the feedings I used to get when I was drunk (which I don’t really remember much as I haven’t drank for 15 months) and I loved it.
That gas and air made me come out with some totally random stuff, such as putting the kettle on and the rabbit’s litter tray lmao. It is really good stuff and I’m highly recommend it. Sometimes though I’d find that it totally slowed me down. For example when I felt the first bit of a contraction, it took me about a good second to realise and put the mask to my face so in a way it was a delayed reaction – like when you are drunk I suppose. Your reactions aren’t as fast. The gas and air really did help because I was in agony before. I felt that I could cope with my contractions better and with the mask I felt in control (for once).
I’m not sure how long I was on the gas and air for but I’d say it was maybe about 45 minutes. Paul was sitting by me throughout and being a really supportive birth partner and he kept bringing me in cups of this lovely heaven sent ice cold water which tasted great. I really needed it as I was so hot and the gas and air made my mouth very dry. I was sweating. The midwife was writing something down the whole time and monitoring the machine, come to think of it, I think it was a CTG. She asked me after a while if I felt ready to push and I did. By this point I was getting excited but also nervous. Everything happened so quickly though. It was all a blur. The midwife told me that when I felt the first contraction to put my chin in my chest and push as hard as I could so I did this and worked up a real sweat and Paul was in and out every few minutes getting me cup after cup of the lovely ice cold water.
I tried pushing for a good hour. We got into the delivery room at 2.10 PM and the midwife basically said that I had until about 3.10 PM. The midwife was very encouraging and when she was telling me how well I was doing, it really gave me an incentive to try and keep up the good work and push that bit harder. She did tell me on various occasions that she could feel the baby’s head. It felt weird hearing that (and having her hand up my you know what lmao) but I did then get excited because I thought to myself that it “won’t be long now”. Paul was telling me the whole time how proud he was of me and how much he loved me. After an hour of pushing, the midwife wasn’t happy with the progress so she said I would have to go into theatre to try with forceps. Well, my head was all over the place, Paul was I worried and I was worried. She was in and out for a while and after she said this, a man came in. I think he was a doctor and I later found out that he would be the one carrying out the section. He explained to me what would happen in theatre and after that he drained my bladder and inserted a catheter (which felt really uncomfortable),
After that, this other man came in (who later be operating in theatre) and I think he was an anaesthetist and again, he had a chat with me about what would happen in theatre and he asked me all of these questions (must have been there about 20 minutes answering questions). After he went this youngish looking woman doctor came in and she went through this piece of paper with me and she gave me about 4 pieces of paper to sign (I was very woozy and still out of it from the gas and air) so I made sure I spent a while reading through everything it said before I signed it (it felt like I was signing my life away lmao). This oldish woman came in and I remember that she looked like this woman who my mum dislikes lmao and she said “are you wearing nail varnish?” and I said yes to which she replied “it’ll have to come off” so there went my manicure I had done the day before lmao then after that, Paul went to get ready for theatre. Everyone else left the room too except for me and the woman who took my varnish off. I told her I felt like I needed the toilet (I didn’t know at this point whether I needed a number 1 or 2) so in she wheeled this wheelchair with a hole in the middle and I sat on that and surprise surprise nothing came out lmao. Think I was nervous lmao. She kept saying “I’ll have to hurry you” and I was thinking “thanks Mrs, I need the loo and you’re rushing me lmao”. So after nothing would come out, she quickly got me in this other wheelchair and wheeled me into theatre. Just outside the theatre doors, I met 2 of the men who would be in theatre operating and I could just tell from the things they were saying that I was in for a laugh!
So in I went and there was no sign of Paul for about 40 minutes. I later found out from him that he had to go and put his gown and hat on and wait until I was all ready. I was wheeled up to the bed and about 2 or 3 people were all there ready to help me up onto the bed but I managed on my own. Everyone was asking if I was ok, which I was. I then had to lift my hair up while they put it in what looked like a shower cap then I was asked to sit up and lean forward then I was given the spinal anaesthetic. I’m sure I had more than one injection because I’m pretty sure I felt 2 maybe 3 needles going inside and stay in me for what seemed like forever. I also had some wires attached to my neck. They took the hair net thingy off my head and then I had to lie down. I remember looking around at all the equipment and thinking how much it was like ER lmao.
Paul came in looking like a doctor with them clothes things that they make the men wear (like a green sort of gown thing and a hat) – very fetching lmao and I was hooked up to a drip of oxytocin and also a saline drip. The curtain was put up before Paul came in and we were ready for action. Everyone was asking me all the time if I was ok and I said “yes thanks”. One of the men said “are you sure you’re ok?” and I said “yes why?” and he said “you just seem too calm and relaxed and you are very quiet” lmao. I was very calm and relaxed through the whole thing. I didn’t say much either. I think the only things I did say was “yes thanks” when everyone kept asking me how I was.
One of the men said “I’ve seen some women in here in such a state, screaming, shouting and crying but you are the quietest person we’ve ever had in here isn’t she guys?” and they all said yes.
The doctor went through with me again what was going to happen. He said they were going to try twice with forceps so that’s what happened. After what seemed like forever where they got everything ready, they are stood round the bed and things were about to happen. My legs were put in the stirrups and it was really weird seeing them in them because I looked at them and thought “Are they mine? I can’t feel them. They can’t be” lmao. I was holding Paul’s hand the whole time and I was very excited. I wasn’t actually scared at all if I was honest, just excited and happy. One of the women doctors was on my right hand side and she put her hands on my tummy and told me when to push. She said “now I want you to give me a big push” so that is exactly what I did. I pushed as hard as I could and for as long as I could. While I was pushing, all I could hear was “good girl, that’s it, as hard as you can, good girl, you’re doing really well”. The first time failed so we tried again, exactly the same as the first attempt. Paul was telling me all the time how much he loved me, how well I was doing and how proud he was of me. After the second failed forceps attempt, the doctor said to me “it’ll have to be a section”. At that point I felt a whole load of emotions – scared, worried, helpless, nervous but yet excited and happy.
I didn’t feel a thing. It all happened so quick. It was only when they opened me up that they found that he had poo pooed inside me. Paul remained as calm and relaxed as me throughout and the doctors were still asking me if I was ok and I was saying yes lmao. They kept telling me how brave I was and how well I was doing. I had such a laugh with the staff in there although it was a very serious situation. The next thing I heard was one of the men doctors (who was a right laugh) saying “in one minute your baby will be here” and I remember thinking “is this real?” I was so so excited and happy. I couldn’t believe my baby was on the way! Then I think I may have heard a cry, The next thing I saw was one of the women doctors with the baby and she put him on the scales. All I saw was a big white bundle lmao then when she put him on the scales I tried to catch a glimpse but couldn’t really as she was standing in the way lmao.
One of the male members of staff said to Paul “do you want to go over” so he did and he stood by the scales and after the doctor had weighed him and given him the vitamin K injection, one of the men said “what is it?” and Paul said “a boy” and I felt so overjoyed and happy. It was an amazing feeling being told what the baby was and especially by Paul. Then, she handed him to Paul and he brought him over to me. I can remember seeing him for the first time. I wasn’t able to hold him or have the skin to skin that I wanted but just to see him for the first time blew me away. Paul laid him next to me and I had to turn my head to the right to see him. The first thing he did was look at me and keep blinking lmao. I was so so happy. I’d never felt love like it before. He was perfect and so beautiful. I couldn’t believe he was mine. Paul was asked what the baby was called and he replied “Lennon”.
While I was put back together again and having the blood draining bag attached to me, Lennon was being held by Paul and all of the staff in the theatre were congratulating us, kissing us, shaking our hands and saying “well done”, “congratulations” and “aww he’s beautiful” to me. I was shaking really bad and being sick for about half an hour and Paul was really worried until one of them said that this was perfectly normal. It really was like a whirlwind from when I got in the car on the way to the hospital up until I had him.
As I was wheeled out of theatre, I was lying flat on the bed with Lennon next to me with Paul walking behind and I heard a woman (who we walked past) say quite loudly “aww isn’t he a beautiful baby?” and I thought “yes he is”. I was wheeled into the recovery room for a good hour maybe a little longer and we were talking to a woman in there (who took the photo of me lying on the bed with Lennon lying next to me and Paul sitting next to me) and a woman came to the door and said "i've got your mum here shall I let her in" and we didn't know whether she meant my mum or Paul's mum so in walks my mum and Paul says to her "here's your grandson" and she cried. She was in Derby shopping and thought she would come and see how I was doing but obviously no-one could tell her anything without my permission but I wasn't asked or anything. I should have really told them that if my mum or dad called or came to the hospital, that it was fine by me for them to see me and know how i'm doing etc. Only one person was allowed in the recovery room and mum said that my little sister Ruby who is 14 was downstairs waiting for mum as she wasn't allowed in but they both hung around the cafe I think for a bit and came to see me when I was on the post-natal ward. My sister and mum were both proud as punch