|30 weeks and nesting|
30 weeks pregnant... nursery decorated, baby shower attended, pram purchased... next on the list, antenatal classes.
We attended NCT classes. I went in with no preconceptions or preparations, birth plan, what was that? I left feeling like a baby birthing warrior, sent on this earth just to give birth, a baby delivering super hero if you will. Hospitals? Doctors? Pain relief? Who needed that stuff? My body is built for this, I'm young, I should be doing this naturally.
My mind was made up, NO pain relief, NO doctors, I would have Belle at the midwife led unit in our local hospital.
I was woken on the morning of the 26th June with major pains. I'd experienced small pains the day before, but this was it, she was coming.
After 8 hours of ball bouncing, deep breathing and bath soaking at home we decided, contractions 2 minutes apart, we were close.
After observation I was told I'd have an examination but they felt I was about 8cms from the strength and times of my contractions. The birthing warrior inside me was overjoyed. I was so proud. I had done this, got this far, all by myself, as nature had intended.
The examination commenced...1/2cm...1/2cm dilated! I can not even begin to describe the heart aching disappointment I felt that second. But my inner birthing warrior was still present, so I continued, unaided, for 8 more long hours.
My waters still hadn't broken so they decided to break them for me after several uneventful examinations, I was still only around 4cms. I will never, ever forget the look on James' face when she did. Shock, horror and disbelief all rolled into a reassuring smile, I knew him, I knew something was wrong.
I was rushed into the delivery suite quicker than I could say 'baby delivering super hero', from that second the birthing warrior was no more, it was taken out of my control.
Belle had been in distress, so we were hooked up to a heart monitor as the pain started to become unbearable. She was back to back in position. More agonising hours passed and gas and air became my friend. More hours went by. Faces looked worried. More doctors appeared. A needle was used in several places. The heart monitor was making noises. The inner birthing warrior had turned into the frighted, 25 year old girl I truly was. In the mirror I could see the numbers on the heart monitor... dropping, dropping, getting higher, dropping again. The faces got more worried and panic filled the air. James was amazing and did his best to reassure me, but all I could see were those worried faces.
It was decided, I needed a c-section. I was heartbroken. I had watched so many births after my classes in preparation for this magical moment, birthing my first child. I got a grip, it needed to happen. At least I could still see her, still have skin to skin with her straight away, feel her against me the moment she is was out. James was sent to get scrubbed up.
I was alone, without my rock. Suddenly the faces changed from worry and concern to complete fear as the monitor made different noises. A piece of paper was shoved under my nose, I was asked to sign it. The comforting soundtrack that had been my daughters heartbeat was removed and within seconds I was being wheeled away, silence. James hadn't even come back into the room, we passed him in the corridor.
It was the silence, I couldn't hear her any more. It was worrying hearing the ups and downs but the silence, hearing nothing at all, I thought they had run out of time. I remember thinking 'wheel me quicker, hurry up!'
Face to the ceiling I could see people entering the room, lots of people. I closed my eyes. I sensed a doctor over me, I don't know what he said, but within moments I was gone.
4 hours later I woke up, and there she was in her daddy's arms, wrapped in a pink blanket. She was Isobelle Rose that day, later changed to Belle Rose. My daughter, my perfect, beautiful daughter.
We were one of only 6% of mothers and babies that suffer from a short umbilical cord. We were told that she had gone as far as she could have and was therefore in such distress as I tried to push her further.
But all was well, apart from a slight misshapen head, she was perfect.
|In hospital still with Daddy|
With time, the guilt surpassed, and I enjoyed being a first time mummy. The anger turned into joy, pride and thankfulness. I was so lucky and honoured to have a healthy, beautiful baby, however she was delivered, it didn't matter.
I do wish I hadn't put so much pressure on myself to have 'a normal' birth. I shouldn't have been so insistent on something that is so unpredictable. External pressures on first time mums are immense, every birth, baby, and pregnancy are different, there shouldn't be so much pressure to do any of it a certain way. I get angry when I hear people in the media talk about c-sections as -'the easy option' and the notion of 'too posh to push', some of us just didn't get the choice.