He's here - a three week old birth story....

More little BLWers in the making... <rubs hands>

He's here - a three week old birth story....

Postby mindy » 07 Jul 2015, 10:08

Small boy is three weeks and one day old already - I felt too fragile to post about his birth during the first week, and the second few weeks have flown by in a haze of tired motherhood.

As you know, I fought long and hard to have the right to a home birth - as I recently turned 40, NHS guidelines state that I am 'high risk' and should deliver my baby under consultant care in the hospital delivery suite. After months of deliberation, they finally agreed to a home birth with the (completely acceptable) proviso that I was admitted at the first sign of concern. We live 10 minutes drive from the hospital so I was very happy with that.

Raghamuffin kindly sent me her birth pool, the midwife delivered the homebirthing box and entonox, and we were all set to go. It was a crazy waiting game, as I knew that there would be pressure to induce me if he hadn't arrived by his due date.

Fortunately he obliged, arriving 2 days before his due date. I was with my best friend and little girls at a canal festival, listening to the music in the sunshine and enjoying a crafty half of beer, when I felt like I had wet myself - my waters had broken at 4.30 in the afternoon, and continued to trickle slowly whilst we finished our drinks, watched the girls on the bouncy castle and rang DH to tell him to come home from the Three Counties show where he was working all weekend. My friend (who hasn't got children) was panicked, but as there was no pain I wasn't in any rush.

We arrived home at about 6pm, BF made my bed for me and looked after the girls, my parents arrived to take the girls for a sleepover, and DH came home and made us some tea. We spent the early evening relaxing in front of the tv, and the contractions started properly about 7pm. I managed initially bouncing on the birth ball and doing my relaxation and visualisation from the hypnobirthing. As things progressed, I used clary sage and lavender oil, and a TENS machine. I knew things were ramping up when I couldn't concentrate on Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell, and we finally rang the midwife at 11pm.

At this stage, the contractions were starting to get a bit frightening, but with his support I used the breathing to hold things together. DH had been very worried about a home birth, but I remember him saying as we were waiting for the midwife to arrive how glad he was that we were at home, and that it was the right thing to do. I mostly felt overwhelming relief that we didn't need to make that decision about when to go to the hospital, I think that is one of the most stressful parts of labour - and driving over the speedbumps on the way!

DH had inflated the pool but it then was a bit of a rush to fill it in time. The midwives arrived at midnight, and by that time I was fairly spaced out, sitting on the birthing ball, with the TENS machine and a hot waterbottle on my back. The midwives took over so DH could focus on the pool, and I finally got in at about 1am. DH was holding my hand and holding the hot water bottle on my back during contractions in the water, which really helped. I found that the integral seat in the pool was too small, and I couldn't focus on mobilising around the pool. I ended up just lying full length in it - although I was effectively on my back, I had spent all of my labour until that point upright which I am sure had really helped.

I started using the entonox at about 2am, and could then feel like I needed to push. The contractions really changed, and I could feel the baby moving right down then slipping back each time. I remember feeling quite frightened, and also very determined - I knew that if I could push hard enough, it would soon be over. The transition phase was petrifying as I remember being very aware that there was no other option for pain relief, I just had to get through it. The one midwife was particularly good - they hadn't examined me (at my request), had been very hands-off, but she really helped me breath through the pain and stay focussed.

Although it felt like forever, apparently the 2nd stage was recorded as just 4 minutes of pushing, and Rex arrived at 2.14am. The head crowned, then he very slowly (and incredibly painfully) rotated. I heard the midwife tell me to open my eyes and look down, and his head and arms were out. I had a huge moment of clarity, and we were all just staring at this half-baby under the water, it was so calm and surreal. He stayed like that for a good minute or two, until I pushed him out fully and held him. It was amazing.

We had opted for delayed cord clamping and a natural 3rd stage, and I sat in the water holding my brand new baby for around 40 minutes. I shall remember that forever - in my own home, in the water, holding my baby boy with my husband next to me. We cut the cord after about half an hour, when it finally stopped pulsating.

Eventually the midwives said I needed to get out to encourage the placenta to deliver. They had placed a bag over the toilet and told me to sit on the toilet and try to push the placenta out, expecting it to be fairly straight forward. By 3.30am it still hadn't arrived, and the midwives were getting worried as it should be delivered within an hour. I had to lie on the sofa and they administered the sintocin injection as my attempts at a natural 3rd stage had failed. Nothing happened, so they catheterised me to see if a full bladder was inhibiting the placenta. No joy. Eventually it was decided that the paramedics would have to be called and I would have to go to hospital to have the retained placenta removed. DH was left literally holding the baby, and I was carried away, still in my tankini top and towel, straight to the hospital at 4am, to the sound of the dawn chorus.

The Obs reg gave me entonox and tried to manually open my cervix to remove the placenta. This is one of the most horrific experiences of my life, it hurt more than I could have believed - and it didn't work. DH arrived with the baby at this stage, having had to manage the new car seat in his hired van at daybreak - very stressful, then arrived to hear me screaming. How awful for him, after everything had been so amazing at home. They told me I would need a spinal and to go to theatre, which was busy. I waited two hours, had 2 botched cannulas inserted which both tissued and left awful bruises up both arms, and embarrassingly wet myself but was unable to move to clean myself up as the contractions had restarted fairly strongly - presumably my body's attempt to remove the placenta.

Once in theatre, it was really hard to keep still for the spinal as the contractions were really full-on again. However, once it kicked in and they lay me down I remember feeling wonderful - no pain, and relief that it was all going to be over very soon. The theatre staff were amazing, friendly and distracting, and DH and the new baby were waiting for me in recovery. It all went fine, and I was still catheterised and completely numb so no pain and feeling great! Unfortunately no one had explained to us how long we would then need to stay in - the midwives had originally said if the placenta could be removed manually I would be home within the hour, but we hadn't realised the implications of the spinal. I eventually got feeling back in my legs after about 6 hours, but then wasn't allowed home until I had passed a litre of urine without the catheter, which took until 7pm at night to happen.

We finally got home about 8pm, to the chaos of the abandoned home birth, then had a mad scramble to tidy up before Min and Roo arrived back, over tired and over excited, to meet their baby brother. It was love at first sight, and they completely adore him.

So, my birth was a combination of completely amazing, and just how I wanted it, then 15 hours of awful, medicalised chaos. It took me a good week to get my head round the hospital bit, but now I mostly just remember the amazing, relaxed labour and birth. Rex is a calm, laid back baby, and I am convinced that the fantastic birth at home has played a part in that.

Despite the retained placenta, I would encourage anyone to have a home water birth - it was exactly the right thing for us, and I would do it again in a flash - except I am definitely not having any more babies ever!!

I shall now be defecting over to the 'birth to BLW' thread, good luck to all of you still to deliver - and please let me know if you are interested in the birth pool, I had it on the understanding that I would pass it on to another forumite.....
Two adorable, headstrong daughters: Roo born Sept 2008, Min born April 2011, and small boy who arrived Summer 2015
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Re: He's here - a three week old birth story....

Postby Kanga » 07 Jul 2015, 10:29

Wow mindy, what a story? I'm sorry about the scary hospital bit but the home birth sounds incredible! I love his name too.
Mummy to 2 gorgeous munchkins who are trying to eat us out of house & home! Dd A born July 08 and ds J born June 12. V3 due October 2014.

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Re: He's here - a three week old birth story....

Postby Treeb » 07 Jul 2015, 10:32

Wow mindy, the home birth part sounds amazing, and congrats on your wonderful baby boy! Hopefully time will continue to heal your memories of the ordeal with the hospital.
Mama to big boy L born Sept. 2012, and baby girl A born June 2015.

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Re: He's here - a three week old birth story....

Postby qbm » 07 Jul 2015, 10:35

Wow. What an emotional time given that birth is already, you know, emotional!! Like Kanga said, so sorry about the medicalised bit but I am really pleased you delivered him at home. I teared up reading that bit.

Congratulations mindy xxx
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Re: He's here - a three week old birth story....

Postby Lily » 07 Jul 2015, 11:35

Quite a story! Glad you managed to get your home birth, mindy.
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Re: He's here - a three week old birth story....

Postby mamapup » 07 Jul 2015, 12:22

Emotional to read so can only imagine how it was for you. I'm so glad you got the home birth you wanted (they're amazing, huh?) and so sorry then that it didn't continue quite so calmly. Well done for dealing with it so well though.

Tears here too. I guess once one has children it's impossible not to cry at birth stories.
In my heart I am Rascalpup, a name awarded during battle with one persistent spammer. I like to think ironside but with sarcasm rather than an axe.

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Re: He's here - a three week old birth story....

Postby UnhappyRightFoot » 07 Jul 2015, 12:45

I'm in tears at your story!!! What a mix of emotions but so pleased to hear your little boy arrived safe and sound in the comfort of your home. It's just a shame that everything didn't quite go to plan at the very end.

Congratulations and enjoy your new baby snuggles! xxx
Mummy to my two miracle baby girls - The Thunder Fairies. Munchie born May 2010 and Ickle Pickle born July 2012.

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Re: He's here - a three week old birth story....

Postby yorkshirepudding » 07 Jul 2015, 13:35

Wow mindy, what a roller coaster! So pleased you got that beautiful home birth. And you do sound to have coped amazingly with the hospital bit. Now I really need to write mine!
Mummy to my little Christmas pudding, Moo, December 2012 and a summer pudding, baby E born June 2015
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Re: He's here - a three week old birth story....

Postby Kitcameron » 07 Jul 2015, 15:22

Congratulations Mindy, so pleased you got your home water birth and glad that that's the bit you're remembering now.

Love the name, my friends due anytime now and she's called her baby Rex already.
Mummy to Slinky Malinky (Sept. 12) and Chunker Munker (June 14.)
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Re: He's here - a three week old birth story....

Postby Cofa's Tree » 07 Jul 2015, 19:47

Wow, what a story! So glad you got the home birth and so glad it's that bit that you are able to focus on. The hospital part sounds like it has the potential to be traumatic, coupled with the feeding/tummy issues you've both faced afterwards, so keep talking if you need to.

But such a lovely home birth story to read :) . Thanks for sharing x
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Re: He's here - a three week old birth story....

Postby sabrina fair » 08 Jul 2015, 14:41

What highs and lows! Congratulations, and welcome to your little man!
Mum to monkeyboy (Spring 2011) and squidge (August 2013)
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Re: He's here - a three week old birth story....

Postby Where'stheMistletoe » 08 Jul 2015, 20:24

Lovely birth story Mindy. Glad the scary after part is fading from your mind now. Congratulations on his safe arrival.
Mummy to gorgeous wriggly baby boy (Jan 11) and beautiful baby girl (Oct 13)
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Re: He's here - a three week old birth story....

Postby pimento » 09 Jul 2015, 16:47

Wowsa, that's a story and a half! Glad your little man is here safely. Big hugs to you.
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