Length of labor (not pushing)
From being induced to pushing was 32 hours
From painful contractions was 14
Length of pushing
2 hours but nothing happened - forceps and eventual c section
Who was with me
What I would do differently next time
Hopefully I will have a VBAC and be able to stay more mobile
What I did to prepare for birth
Had an easy pregnancy. I had no sickness and stayed active. I worked until 36 weeks and had a lovely neat bump. Then at 38 weeks became incredibly itchy. After a blood test it was found I had developed a liver condition called obstetric cholestasis. Due to a small risk of stillbirth I had to be induced at 40 weeks.
Up until then I had wanted a water birth with as little pain relief as possible. Mainly just gas & air (laughing gas is used in UK during labour) and definitely not pethadine (a muscle relaxant) or epidural.
How my birth happened
I went into hospital at 8am on the Saturday (due date) and was given the prostagladin pessary to soften my cervix and start my contractions. 4 hours later after a lot of walking I started to get tummy ache and at 3pm I was 2cm dilated! They wanted to break my waters but needed a room on labour ward first. Unfortunately it was incredibly busy and so I had to wait for one to become available. I was given paracetamol for the pain and had a bath which helped. By midnight I was getting contractions every 15 minutes and by 4am (Sunday) they were every 5 minutes and painful.
Luckily they had a room for me and my waters were broken around 5.30 am. I was 3cm. My contractions immediately intensified and by 8am I need gas & air (laughing gas) to help me through each one. I had to be on continuous monitoring due to the obstetric cholestasis and so not able to move about. This made the pain difficult to cope with. A couple of hours later i requested pethadine because the pain was too much for me. This made me very drowsy and between contractions I was able to sleep little. My husband never left my side and held my hand the whole time.
Around 4pm I suddenly felt the need to get up off the bed. The pressure of my baby's head on my cervix meant I started pushing uncontrollably. My midwife checked me and I was 9.5cm. She was able to push the last bit of cervix across and I was 10cm.
I started pushing. With each contraction which lasted about a minute I would push 3 times. I wanted to push while being upright as this helps the baby to move down so I tried standing, squatting and kneeling. I was becoming exhausted so ended up laying down. I was pushing as hard as I could through the pain but nothing seemed to be happening.
After a hour the midwife fetched a doctor. They both encouraged me to push but still nothing. My baby was ultrasound scanned and it was discovered he was facing out to my side with his chin tilted up and was stuck.
The dr recommended they try turning him with forceps. By this point I was so tired I agreed. I was immediately taken to theatre and given a spinal block so I was numb. Then with my legs in stirrups they made 2 attempts to turn him but he was completely stuck. Then his heart rate decelerated and they did an emergency c section.
I felt a lot of pulling but no pain and after just a couple of minutes a cry. At 18.56 on the Sunday Tristan was born weighing 7lb 10oz. My husband and I both cried and he was brought round to us. He was perfect.
- That anyone can ended up with a c section. I had not know the rate of c sections in the UK was 25%.
- To remain open minded about pain relief. Before hand i didn't want any but once the labour got going I couldn't just breath through them.
- That a birth plan is not set in stone- be flexible.
- After the birth I felt very down about having a c section. I felt I had failed and not given birth properly. It has taken me a few months to come to terms with it. Although I am still disappointed I no longer feel upset when I think about it.
- Talk to people afterward. It helps to discuss your feelings around your birth.