Phoebe's Birth Story

Birth plan, smirth plan. That is all I can say! As much as you want, and expect the perfect birth, it doesn't always happen that way! I had it in my head that I would be able to birth my baby on gas and air alone, boy, was I wrong! Not one to hold back, here is Phoebe's birth story.

I noticed on Friday night, being 39 weeks and 2 days, I was getting twinges. Nothing too painful, and not painful enough for me to think anything of them, but on Saturday I was visited by my midwife who examined me and noticed that I was already 3cm dilated. I couldn't quite believe it! She warned me that I was more than likely going to labour tonight, or at the latest tomorrow.

Much to my dismay I got on with things as normal but noticed that within the hour the pains started to get that little bit worse, and by 7pm that night I was on the phone to my Mother in law asking to be taken to the hospital. Unfortunately, James was in work till 10pm that night and what was funny was that we had debated whether he should work that day or not, being so close to my actual due date and all.

Anyway, once I was admitted and declared that I was, in fact, in active labour I tried an hour or two on just codeine and paracetamol but I was soon reaching for the gas and air. I can only describe labour as the worst period pain you will ever experience.. EVER. Never will I complain about cramps again.

I think now is a good time to mention my midwife. Her name was Lisa and she was absolutely amazing, a complete credit to the Liverpool Women's Hospital.

Gas and air helped for a short while but as soon as James reached me just after 10pm I was ready for something stronger. I opted for the diamorphine. It was never in my birth plan but I wanted to stay on the midwife led unit and every other method of pain control meant moving to a consultant led unit.

I felt the effect almost straight away. The edge was taken off my contractions and I was able to drift in and out of sleep in between them. It was only after an hour or so that the queasiness started to set in and I was violently sick. Sorry! There is no sugar coating this story!

At midnight I had dilated up to 8cm and by 2am I was ready for my next shot of diamorphine. This led to the same effect as before, but worse! I am almost sure that my projectile vomiting led to my waters breaking all over the bathroom floor. I then had to have a maternity pad laid at my feet to catch anymore amniotic fluid, and James had to change my absolutely sodden socks because I was in no fit state to reach. That's love, right?

After a couple of hours I was ready to push but because I had been so sick I was also dehydrated. I was hooked up to a drip and started to push when I had a contraction (honestly, it's exactly the same feeling as having a poo..)  However my contractions slowed to the point were I was only having one every 15 minutes. This meant baby had to go on a monitor whilst a decision was made on how to proceed.

By this time it was 7am and I was fully dilated but I was told that Phoebe's head hadn't quite turned fully and I would have to go to theatre to try for a forceps delivery. Failing that it would be a c-section. I was so tired at this point I remember really having to concentrate on what was being said to me as I was wheeled into theatre.

There were about 10 people in the room at the time and it felt like they were all asking me questions and barking instructions at me all at once. I had a spinal anaesthetic which made me numb from the chest down. I became a complete dead weight, it was so weird seeing my legs being moved about and manipulated and not being able to feel anything. Fortunately Phoebe's head turned as I was sat on the edge of the bed having the anaesthetic administered so I didn't need a rotational forceps delivery. Just a regular one was bad enough I guess!

At 8.17am our little miss was finally born, episiotomy and all. She was thrown onto my belly and James got to cut the cord..Nice! It took until late afternoon when the shaking subsided (a horrible side effect of the anaesthetic) and I could feel my legs again. I was then able to have my drip and catheter removed and have the best shower of my life. Ok, the bathroom facilities definitely weren't the fanciest but I still maintain that it was the best shower I have ever had.

Love, Jo.