BIRTH PLANS - WHEN THEY DON'T GO TO PLAN
Though a birth plan is helpful, labour and birth are unpredictable, so what happens when your birth plan doesnt go ‘to plan’ these mum’s tell us exactly how it is, thrown in at the deep end. Welcome to parenthood.
I was under no illusion that childbirth would be painful. My sister had a two day labour resulting in an emergency C-Section as she just physically couldnt get my nephew “out.” Given that I am smaller framed than her and the fact that my MIL also needed caesareans for the same reason I imagined that at some point throughout my labour it would be mentioned and that a natural birth would be a no go.
Thankfully this wasnt mentioned and it got to the stage of deciding what I wanted my birth plan to be. I knew I wanted a water birth but not at home. I didnt want flashbacks whilst watching Eastenders of me squeezing a baby out with my two cat sniffing around at the midwifes bag and worst still, one of them trying to get into the pool with me!!
Having done some research I knew a few of the pain reliefs meant you couldnt be in the pool for a few hours afterwards so I decided as low pain relief as possible and the water itself is meant to help so thats what I had planned to do.
Labour day arrived and Hubby drove us there and in I waddled. After a stay in over night we were rudely told in the morning that I should go home as I wasnt progressing. I was only 1cm and clearly not established enough to take up a bed. Having had some cross words due to basically being ignored by all staff until then we sulked our way home. Another let down.
A few hours later the contractions got worse, but they were in my back. The pain in my tummy was nothing more than a period pain but my back. Holy shit, it got to the point that every contraction made my back lock and I froze stiff. By night we returned as my contractions were every 2-3 minutes but my back was still locking to the point I couldnt lay, sit or sleep. Hubby as my birthing partner became a punch bag who at one point i restrained myself from biting him from all the pain!
Luckily, the midwives transferred me to the labour ward as they recognised the way my back and contractions were going was not right. Explaining to the consultant my issue wasnt the labour pains, it was my back (i have a prolapsed disc), however my back was the worst it had ever been. They prescibed me some diazepam and told to go home as I had not progressed at all stuck at only a few centimeters.
After absoluetly no sleep and more pain than stepping on lego, i returned to hospital. The midwife who had kicked us out the previous morning was on shift again. Oh god if only things could get a bit better for me!!! Thankfully, this time round she was super helpful and supportive as she had seen how much agony I was in. Finally she then asked for a consultant from the labour ward to see me who only wanted to see my drugs chart. She tried to explain my situation wasnt a standard labour but he refused to listen. After three hours finally someone came to see me. I was told that I was to be induced as my back was clearly slowing down my labour.
Three and a half days later I eventually reached “established labour” and 7 hours later I was ready to push. By this point both me and Hubby had only managed to get 4 hours sleep since the start of my labour on the Friday morning. My natural birth plan was completely out of the window. At one stage I was begging the midwife for a caesearean, however after several doses of oramorph, diamorphine and an epidural I felt on top of the world.
After two hours of pushing I was exhausted, I couldn’t do it any longer and the midwife knew it.. I felt like I’d failed as a mother but more importantly, I felt like I failed as a woman. This is what we’re created to do and here I am falling at the last hurdle. They brought in nurses and extra staff to prepare me for a C-section. The midwife had told me she could see the head, but I just couldn’t give just one last push. After being re-examined I was told that there was no need for such drastic measures but instead there and then I was to have an episiotomy and the baby was delivered via forceps.
Out cranked these massive tools and then it felt like my nether-regions were being ripped to shreds. Then came the cranking, I honestly felt like he was trying to replace a tyre, not deliver my baby!
Then out came our little man. He wasn’t breathing. I freaked out. But at the same time I was so exhausted and out of it from the drugs that I felt numb. All of the doctors, nurses and midwives were fighting to get the baby to breathe. They finally contolled it by putting him on 100% oxygen which he remained on for the next 24 hours and he was taken to NICU.
My heart sank and still sinks whenever I see pictures of new parents in their delivery suite with their newborn baby, Their first family photo, one to be treasured forever, but we didnt get this, as ben was taken to NICU. I guess this all comes with the unexpected birth plan.
At the end of the day, all that matters is both me and Ben are 100% healthy and he is the most amazing baby who usually sleeps 7pm-9am most days (definately makes up for my attrocious labour!!)