Birth story – Jessica and baby Martha — The Positive Birth Company

Pregnancy –

I’ll keep this section short and sweet as my pregnancy was super straight forward! I absolutely LOVED being pregnant. I was one of the lucky few who didn’t experience any symptoms other than feeling a little uncomfortable towards the end.

Induction –

Unfortunately, my little babe was super cosy in my tummy and wasn’t quite ready to make her entrance into the world, I agreed to a sweep at 41 weeks pregnant (which honestly I didn’t find uncomfortable at all!) where I was I was 2cm dilated, this triggered very very mild contractions, every 10 minutes or so told but these didn’t get any stronger or closer together so after two days, I agreed to another sweep at 41+3 and was still 2cm dilated. I agreed with my midwife that if this didn’t help my contractions progress I would be induced at 41+5.

My contractions continued, but still didn’t progress so I made my way into hospital at 41+5 for my induction. When I arrived I was examined and told I was still 2cm dilated, so the midwife administered the pessary. I was told I would be examined again in 6 hours so see if the pessary had worked. My contractions were still coming, but still not getting any stronger or closer together so I just tried to get as much rest as possible as I was prepared for a long few days!

After 6 hours, I was examined again to be told I was 3-4cm dilated and as soon as there was a midwife available on the delivery suite I would be on my way up to have my waters broken!!! I was absolutely over the moon it was 8.30pm by now and my partner had been sent home so I called him and said to make sure his phone was on loud through the night as we would be going up to the delivery suite ASAP! We were so excited. The midwife advised me to try and get some sleep and told me they would wake me up when it’s time to go. So I went and got some sleep. I was woken up at around 2am with some bad cramps and back ache, I was excited as I knew this meant everything was progressing well!! I went to the toilet and lost my plug, and went back to sleep to try and get some more rest. I woke up again shortly before 4am as my cramps were getting quite strong and uncomfortable so I started using my up breathing. At around 4:30am I felt a big leak of fluid. I went to the midwife station and said “I think my waters have broke” to be told “you would know if they had”… I was very frustrated with this response and felt really dismissed. The midwife then said “the day staff will examine you when they arrive so just wait until then.” Obviously I had never experienced this before so accepted that response (in hindsight; I shouldn’t have but all will come clear later down the line!)

Once the day shift arrived was when the real frustration set in. The visiting hours were either 8am – 2pm OR 2pm – 8pm, as we were told we would be going up to the delivery suite at 8pm the night before, I told my partner to come back for 8am. Between 8am and around 1:30pm that day, I felt like I was wearing an invisibility cloak… I had no examinations, I wasn’t monitored at all and no one was telling me what was going on. By this point my contractions were really getting strong and were now around 4-5 minutes apart. I knew that at 2pm my partner would be sent home so I went to the midwife station to ask when we would be going to the delivery suite, they advised me that a bed had just become available so they were just sorting the room and then we would be going up, they also advised that my partner could stay rather than having to leave then come back very soon after. We got all of our belongings together ready to head up… and then a midwife from the delivery suite came onto the ward, and took up the lady in the bed opposite me instead… Again; I headed to the midwife station to ask what was happening and they advised “the consultant changed their mind on who to send up so your partner will have to go home and come back tomorrow”.

As you can imagine I was gutted absolutely, I felt completely blindsided and was really relying on my partner at this point to help be breathing through my contractions, and now he was being sent home. Fast forward to around 4pm, I was now on my own, my contractions had really ramped up and I was now having around 3-4 contractions every 10 minutes, and was loosing my way with my breathing without my partner there to support me. I pressed my buzzer for a midwife as I had still not been examined or monitored at all! I knew that with my waters breaking I was at an increase risk of infection so I said to the midwife I need to know what is happening, my waters broke at half 4 this morning and no one is telling me anything… the midwife almost turned as white as a ghost. It turns out, that the night staff hadn’t handed over that my waters had gone, or even that I “thought” my waters had gone… therefore I wasn’t considered at risk, and was considered safe to stay on the ward. The midwife examined me straight away after me telling her this and confirmed that my waters had gone, she then sat with me for 20 minutes assessing my contractions and their frequency, and with that we were on our way to the delivery suite!! Unfortunately there was still no midwife for me on the delivery suite, therefore the midwife from the ward came with me.

Active Labor –

When we arrived on the delivery suite I asked for gas and air to help me deal with my contractions. My partner arrived back and set up my projector and put on a playlist of music that we had made throughout my pregnancy. He was absolutely amazing during my active labor, he instantly calmed me, and helped me control my breathing, counted me through every contraction, made sure I was well hydrated and even kept feeding me snacks between contractions at around 8pm the midwife handed over to the night shift midwife, and I overheard her say “she had two doses of pethidine through the night last night” at this point I butted in and said I haven’t had any pethidine, it was the lady who was opposite me on the ward who had the pethidine… so yet again the previous nights night shift had messed up!!! Anyway, I was examined again around 8:45 as I said to my midwife “I NEED A BEDPAN I THINK IM GOING TO POO MYSELF!” This midwife was absolutely brilliant and assured me that I wasn’t going to poo and much to my surprise I was 8cm dilated, she told me the sensation I was experiencing was my baby girls head causing pressure.

As my labor progressed my contractions became back to back, I was hardly getting a break between them and they were extremely intense. Because I was using the gas and air so much I was starting to hallucinate, therefore I requested an epidural. This was something that prior to my labor I didn’t rule out, but wanted to try and avoid if possible, however while I was hallucinating, I knew I wouldn’t remember my baby being born which was more important to me, I knew I had to be present in that magical moment! The epidural was administered, and I was so exhausted that I fell asleep for a few hours.

At around 3am I was woken up as my babies heart rate had started fluctuating and her movements had reduced on the monitor. The midwife ran some tests on me, and found my blood pressure and temperature had raised. They called in the consultant for an advise who requested a blood test to be done on both me and my baby, the consultant also advised that I was potentially going to require an emergency C-section depending on the results. The blood results on my baby came back first and were all normal, however I was advised to move into a different position to try and make the baby more comfortable. My blood results came back shortly after and showed that I had developed an infection (most likely because I was left so long with my waters broken). As the baby was still in a stable condition at this point the consultant advised us that I was okay to progress my labor naturally for another 2 hours to see if I could get to 10cm.

I decided again to get some rest, and had another hour or so sleep. After the 2 hours, I was examined again and was now 9cm dilated. The consultant then told my midwife that they were going to put me on the hormone drip. I overheard my midwife disagree with this decision and the consultant overruled her and went to arrange the drip (but hadn’t said ANYTHING to me) I asked my midwife what was happening and again, she was brilliant. She was completely honest and open to me and told me what the plan was, explained what the hormone drip does and what it is used for, and then advised me why she didn’t agree with the decision. The midwife in charge then came into my room so we discussed this with her, and she was in agreement with my midwife that the drip wasn’t a good idea, but ultimately it was my decision. Therefore when the consultant came back in the room to administer the drip, I confidently declined this. I was told I had another 2 hours to get to the 10cm, otherwise I would have to go for a C-Section.

After about an hour; my babies heartrate dropped again and her movements had reduced again, this meant that my baby was now also showing signs of infection, therefore I was rushed into the theater for the C-Section.

Throughout my whole pregnancy, the thought of ac section made me physically feel sick! I was absolutely terrified of the idea of ​​it, but in the moment, I knew it was absolutely the right thing and it was best for me and my baby and I went into the theater feeling calm and confident. All of the people present in theater were absolutely amazing! They kept me informed at every stage and made me feel at ease and as calm as possible. Within 30 minutes of being told I was going for a C-section, I heard that blissful first cry of my baby girl, Martha Mae finally entered our crazy world!! Weighing 7lbs 11oz.

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