Peonie & Me...x

By Renee Christel Rispin x

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

My birth story...well the parts I remember and the bits I can talk about x

Clutching Henry my whole body starts to tremble from my lower back to my chest. My breathing starts to quicken and my heart feels like it's going to explode from my chest. I try and scream out to the other Mums for help, but my breath catches in my throat and panic takes over. Tears stream down my face and an overwhelming feeling of sadness fills my heart. I'm experiencing my first ever panic attack and I fear that I'm going to drop my son. 
xxx
3 weeks after giving birth I've experienced around a dozen such panic attacks, the first of which was 1 day after giving birth to Little Monkey. 

I've yet to fully understand what brings on these attacks of anxiety, but thanks to the midwife support I've received post baby, we know it's linked to my birth experience. Looking back now over my birth plan, I can't believe how naive I was. Words such as water birth, relaxation massages and chill out music now mock me from the page. In a nutshell I wasn't prepared for real life birth. 

So here it is...my birth story...

10 days overdue my husband and I attended the Liverpool Womens Hospital for our 10+ assessment. Babies heart rate was perfect, however the midwife was concerned at the levels of my amniotic fluid. She was also concerned at the level of pain I was in from my SPD. So she booked us in for an induction the following morning.

During our NCT classes the word Induction was rather Taboo. Similarly friends who had gone down this route also shared their views, which was "don't get an induction".  I think the common theme was that we should wait for baby to naturally arrive and Inductions could be extremely painful. However somewhat impatient and rather fed up with my pelvic pain, I welcomed the intervention. 

Now I actually diarised the first day of the induction and reading back now I remember how excited and giddy we both were.

6am wide awake with that holiday feeling. First time in months I only woke up once to pee. Morning cuddles with DH, excitement tangible between us both.

8am washed, shaved, dressed and fed. Bags all packed and ready to go. I'm feeling strangely calm, whilst DH drops the toilet roll down the loo. I've already received an abundance of texts from well wishes and 50 missed calls from my Mum, who believes in giving birth to the baby Jesus. 

9.30am arrived at the Liverpool women's with our mountain of bags. We get booked in and monitored up to check little monkeys heartbeat. Also given the rundown on the induction process. Yikes. 

11.30am our lovely midwife Lynn is happy with baby and I, therefore gives me an internal check. Im still only 1cm following my week 40 check and my cervix is still high. Therefore she goes ahead with the induction gel, ouch.

2.30pm lunch, check, Grazia & Look Magazine read, check, bounced on birthing ball, check, snooze with DH, check, contractions....nothing...the story continues... 

4.00pm ouch. Period pan like cramps have started. But nothing I can call labour. 1hr 1/2 until I'm examined. Come on cervix, you can do it. 

5.00pm so there were not cramps, they were early contractions. Woohoo (in a no pain, no gain kind of way. Bit like a Brazilian wax).  So I've been examined and I'm now 2cm and my cervix had dropped and softened. But due to the contractions, I can't have another gel as it will over stimulate. So waiting until 7.30 for another examination. Come on cervix, bugger off 

From now I lose track of time...
I finally got to 4cm dilated and was transferred to the labour suite and placed on to a drip. We were lucky to receive a recently renovated room that was both large with a new ensuite shower room. Sitting proudly in the centre was a birth pool, however I needed to be constantly monitored, therefore making the bath redundant and saying goodbye to my hopes of a water birth. Being confined to a bed was my worst fear, I knew it would hinder Little Monkeys welcome in to the world. 

At this point i'm having strong painful contractions and equally my SPD is causing me excruciating pain. It didn't matter what position I got into, lying on my back was the only way I could cope with my pelvic problems. 

It all becomes blurry around now. I know I've received a 2nd pessary gel and put on to the induction drip. My waters had also been broken, revealing a green murky fluid. Little monkey had at some point gone the toilet. Thankfully his heartbeat revealed he wasn't distressed.

Gas & air became my first relief, I honestly believe it did nothing. Next up was Diamorphine, the one drug I was dead set against. I didn't want any medication that could effect our baby. In the end I had 3 injections of the drug over the 24 hours. Anything to avoid an epidural. 

Night became day and day rolled into night. 

I slept through contractions, every 3 minutes, vomited through my diamorphine and cried during toilet breaks. My SPD never let up. 

My husband becomes a blur, as do the midwives. I remember them being there, but time escapes me. 

At some point I'm informed I'm 10cm dilated and I begin to push. Despite the pain I remember being so proud I got to this point and was going to give birth to our baby. 

It's now 30+ hours since arriving at the hospital and 2 hours into pushing. Little Monkey has turned and won't be coming out naturally. 

2 doctors examine me and its determined they are to try forceps and failing that a C Section. We are informed of the risks that a cesarean can bring and I watch as my husband turns white and sinks into his chair. I cry out for help before he spasms into a full blown panic attack and sinks to the floor. My own fears leave me as I call out for him to come back to us. He faints and is out for what seems like an eternity. 

I helplessly watch as the attention of the room shifts to my husband. Between gas & air I request my Mum be brought in to help take over the situation. My Mum had been waiting patiently in the hospital reception for baby news as we wanted to keep the birth private amongst my husband and I. 

Thankfully my husband comes around and looking into his eyes, I see the stress of the last 36 hours painfully in his eyes. It's agreed he won't come into theatre and my mum receives an upgrade.

The next part, which I guess in telling a birth story, is the most important aspect of my experience. However I can't tell it. The fear of another panic attack is too raw, therefore making this a 2 part edition. 

I can however share the most precious moment of when my son was passed to me and I cuddled him in my arms. The overwhelming feel of love for this little man was electric and I couldn't stop kissing his little head.

Thankful for the amazing surgical team at the Liverpool Women's, they allowed my husband to come in and cut the cord and cuddle his family. Unheard of as I already had my Mum in the theatre. I will never forget the kindness the team showed us and I will be forever thankful for the man who took a billion photographs for me on my phone. 

My C section went as regular as any other. There is no near death experience or medical negligence, it was all by the book. The reasons I become paralysed with anxiety is purely due to me being unprepared for such a big surgery. Or more specifically my lack of control of the situation. 

Following the birth I have received the most incredible professional care from midwives, health advisors, doctors and recently from an organisation called LivPip. They are all working with me to help work through my anxiety. But most importantly to ensure I don't miss out on vital bonding time with my son.  

Next up I will be having a one to one with a consultant at the Liverpool Women's Hospital to review my hospital notes. They will take me through the sequence of events in the hope of putting to peace my experience.  And maybe one day share Part 2 of my delivery experience. 

Back to the present I'm currently snuggling my gorgeous baby to sleep after his feed. Looking down at his innocent little face I couldn't imagine a world without him. It's taken me 3 weeks to write this post and I've written most of it with my son in my arms. The best therapy of all...x

Special thanks to...

Liverpool Women's Hospital and the incredible staff

My community Midwife Jenny Long

LivPIP Liverpool Parent Infant Partnership

My Husband, Family & Friends x

Read Part Two Here x 
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10 comments

  1. I'm so sorry that you're struggling with having had the section but it does sound like you're getting a lot of much needed support. Your little boy is beautiful, congratulations!

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    1. Hi Pippa, thanks for taking the time out to read my story. Yes I'm getting amazing support and every day is getting easier. Isn't he gorgeous, but then I'm just biased :o) x

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  2. Oh my love I cried reading this. I can feel the panic in your writing. Maybe the hospital meeting will help. I hope so. What an utter shame.
    Maybe we should form a support group. Big hugs xxx

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    1. Sorry I made you cry. I read it back and cried too. A support group sounds perfect. Even just to feel like you are not the only one x

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  3. Firstly, congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby.
    It is hard to come to terms with things if they don't go to plan, we're not prepared & we have no control (2 emergency sections here, one under a general anaesthetic) I'm so glad that you are getting support & help and having the opportunity to go through what happened. Hopefully you can find some peace x

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    1. Thanks Becky. Despite the birth, I love being a Mum. I'd love to hear more about your sections if you want to share it with me? I've found it good to talk about it. Yes finding peace each day and having lots of cuddles with Henry x

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    2. I don't mind sharing at all.
      I had pre-eclampsia with my daughter, who will be 7 in July, so I was induced at about 38 weeks. 10pm at night At 2cm they broke my waters and I was put on the drip (I forget the name) to control contractions. Laboured through the night, at 10am next day I was 10cm dialated, by 3pm baby still hadn't arrived despite my constant efforts to push. I was taken to theatre to see if they could try ventouse but baby was too high, so a c-section was preformed, I was advised that might be the case before I went to theatre but by that point didn't really care as I was so tired and I knew that it was taking far too long and I wanted the baby out.
      Fast forward 6 years, pregnant with 2nd child, I opted for a VBAC delivery. I had issues in pregnancy, they had concerns over the babys oesophagus not being connected properly and I was polyhydramnios so was under the care of the Fetal Medical Unit at a St Marys Manchester, 40+ minutes away from home. Because of this I was again induced at 38 weeks, so I didn't go into labour an hour away. This time using a Foley Catheter, no drugs so a safer way to be induced (not used at all hospitals) waters went by themselves a few hours later and then I went into labour, again with no drugs quite quickly after that. Laboured well with just gas and air, then I decided I needed something stronger (bring me the drugs!) had pethidine and really shortly after was ready to push. Turns out baby was back to back so wasn't for moving. Then his heart rate started to drop during contractions, then it dropped and didn't rise again. Room full of people, red button etc. They were taking me to theatre to try and turn him or section as they needed him out. Then, well, there was nothing put pain, no let up and completely different to contractions. At the time I didn't know but I'd had a Uterine Rupture. I was wheeled down thinking I was having a spinal block (didn't know about rupture at this point) I was examined in theatre and straight away was told I was going under a general anaesthetic.
      Very long story short now, although of course willing to talk more about it. Woke up in intensive care, with no baby to be seen. He was in NICU. He was born with no heartbeat, took 9 minutes to get his heart started and a total of 20 minutes born with no oxygen to brain (god knows about in the womb) I woke up at about 7am and didn't see him, apart from a photograph until 10pm. He spent 72 hours having hyperthermia therapy. 1st cuddles were 4 days later, best cuddles in the world!
      Sorry for off loading in your comments section ;)

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    3. Hi Becky,

      My apologies I am only getting around to replying to your post. I've not had five minutes to finish a response to you.

      Firstly sending you a big hug. Not just for going through your two births, but also for reliving it and a sharing it with me. The positive from this is, you went onto having a 2nd baby. If you did it, hopefully I can.

      Following the births did you get any emotional support? in particular following the birth of your 2nd baby? My main concern was I don't feel like I gave birth to Henry. I felt like a gained a son, but because I didn't push him out, i feel like I missed out on the birthing process. Did you feel that way having been put to sleep?

      Sorry for all the questions, I'm finding that its good to talk and the more knowledge I have, the more hope I'm strong enough in the future to have another baby x

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  4. Your story made me cry. I'm happy you're both okay now. :) :)
    Zsanett (newmummyabroad.wordpress.com)

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  5. Sorry my story made you cry. But yes I'm very happy now and working through my anxieties. Thanks for taking the time out to read my story x

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