Catherine’s Story

*Names have been changed for the protection of the individuals privacy

It started in the early hours of the morning of the Tuesday at 3:00am. My waters broke with no signs of labour. My top amniotic sac ruptured causing it to leak out, although the lower sac was still intact. My contractions started at 5 in the morning. I was frantically trying to get hold of my mum and my sister (who is a midwife).

Being my first child, I panicked because it was really happening. This is it, this is me about to push out a human. I didn’t get hold of anyone for hours, only my poor friend ┬ápicked up the phone so I could cry to her how scared I was. My contractions were bearable, 8-10 minutes apart. They made my toes curl. Little did I know that they were going to get much much worse.

My mum got round to my house at 7am (she literally lives opposite my house). She helped me monitor my contractions. My sister called and suggested a bath, her words were “at least you’ll be squeaky clean when you get there”. I had the bath and my contractions stopped! I was gutted. This was a blast, contractions aren’t that bad.. Labour is ok.. (Ha. I wasn’t even in labour.. Silly me). I rang the hospital for advice, they advised I stayed at home as long as possible until the pain is no longer bearable. But there was nothing. I was having the odd little contraction once an hour or so. I wasn’t even monitoring them in the end.

“At one point I think I was actually biting the mattress to help the pain”

At risk of infection, you are not to go more then 24 hours after your waters have gone to be in labour really. So I’ve read and heard. So I made my way to hospital with my partner. The midwives on the clinic took my blood pressure 6 times. It was significantly high (at risk of preeclampsia etc) They checked to make sure my waters had broken (as if I’d lie) and booked me in to stay on the maternity ward over night to be induced in the morning. Lucky really because before they checked my blood pressure they advised I came back every day for 4 days, and if I didn’t go into natural labour, then they’d induce me. No way.

My contractions were still on and off and at 12 midnight the midwife gave me a sweep. What the hell, that cant be normal. I wasn’t the best neighbour to have in the maternity ward, and probably scared the life out of the other expectant mothers. Oops and ouch! The midwife then ruptured my other amniotic sac. And that kick started my labour into full swing immediately. At one point I think I was actually biting the mattress to help the pain. My partner was home, looking after our cat, he had only been home 2hours to get sleep before I rang him begging him to get up to hospital because I honestly thought I was going to give birth within the hour. By 3 in the morning I was in the delivery suite, hooked up to every monitor. I was allowed any other means of delivery because my son was diagnosed with only one kidney. So we had to keep him monitored also. He has two, we have recently found it via ultrasound in the wrong place!

Anyway, my mum and partner was in the delivery suite with me, I was so dramatic. It hurts, but I really should of listened to my mum when she said it will get worse.. This is nothing. By now I was in labour for 24 hours but active labour for 3/4 hours. I begged for every pain relief as time went by, I had pethidine, gas and air and an epidural. The epidural didn’t work for me, I still felt every thing. I even had a top up button to help kill pain and all I did was take too much pain relief and was making myself sick. My midwife was useless. She sat on her phone a lot (agency midwife, not to tar them all with the same brush), she didn’t explain to me exactly what was happening.

My mum was telling me every 2-3 hours that it wont be long now. How much longer!? I was screaming. It was ridiculous. By the afternoon, after being in labour for what felt a lifetime, I had another sweep.. I was only 3cm. That’s it. I give up. I begged for a c section and forceps. Whatever I could. I was exhausted, I hadn’t slept, was sick and hadn’t eaten for more then a day. All but 3 maltesers my partner fed me. I was put on a drip, I was dehydrated also. Every hour I was more and more dilated. I was growling and spitting with pain. Until 10 to 6 that Wednesday evening, 31st of March, I was 10cm. FINALLY! Only to be told by my midwife they give you two hours to deliver.. She walked out the room.

I’m not sure if I needed to push or not. But I did anyway. I probably shouldn’t of. Who knows. The midwife started explaining a orange button to my partner to push it when she says to. I had no idea what for. My partner was also due to cut the umbilical cord, until the midwife explained the orange button and got Fletcher out as quickly as possible. He was delivered in 18minutes. The cord was around his neck. He was born blue and not breathing. I didn’t get to hold him when he was first out, just a rush of people running in kicking things out of the way to get the the table to resuscitate my baby.

My mum ran out the room, she didn’t know how to tell me. My partner was sobbing, and to be honest I was so drugged up I was a little oblivious to what was happening. He was taken to intensive care, we was there for 5 days. He made a full recovery, he does have a hole/dip in his chest from the first struggles of breathing. But it doesn’t affect him now. Although the after birth for me was awful, as soon as he was birth the pain was gone. 38/39 hours of labour all in all. 18 hours of it active labour. I’ve never felt more relieved. I also emphasised id never do it again. And wanted to be sterilised that day. I cant say I feel the same now! I want another. God help me!

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