This is major, I’m on annual leave. The pager and work phone are both turned off and we’re going camping in a few days to Dorset. I’m not particularly into sleeping under canvas (excluding a good old festie) but there’s hot showers, electric sockets for hair dryers and iphone chargers and the weather forecast is looking good! I’ve just spent a great 4 days at my Mum’s who lives by the sea in Whitstable. The sun shone, Marnie loved the beach and I finally got to hang out with the amazing Charlotte and Lil. Charlotte writes the brilliant blog I’m Only Saying What You’re Thinking and she is even better in real life. Especially after we devoured a bottle of red in the local tapas restaurant and almost wet ourselves laughing and forgetting that we are responsible Mamas over G&T’s. Ahem. Charlotte agreed (sober) that she would finally share her birth story and true to her word she did despite coming down with a cold. That girl is card core and she’s only 5ft 2. Respect!
‘It’s been almost two and a half years now since I gave birth, although technically I’m probably not allowed to use that term, seeing as she didn’t actually come out of my vagina.
In my head, I thought she’d be early. Not dangerously early, just a week or two. My pregnancy wasn’t much fun so I wished the majority of it away. I was devastated to reach day seven past my due date. And then on day ten, they took my whinging arse in to induce me. But that kid would not shift.
After a few attempts at getting her out using drugs, my contractions finally started two days after I’d been admitted. The pain was bearable at first, like a wave of ouch every now and then. But soon after it all got a bit mental so I asked for the Pethidine. I waited patiently for it to kick in but nothing. So they whisked me round to the delivery suite to break my waters. I was all baby, which was a bit terrifying. I wondered how the hell I was supposed to push her out. The contractions were coming thick and fast and I was so tired that I just wanted the pain to go away. Not at all bothered about the thought of an epidural (I have a needle phobia), I asked the midwife to hit me up. Twenty minutes later, after keeping scarily still during a painful contraction while the anaesthetist inserted the needle in to my spine, I was swimming around the room (although not literally, you understand – I was paralysed from the waist down). I only knew I was having contractions by looking at the monitor. I cannot begin to explain how heavenly it felt, pushing that button to top up the pain relief. I was hooked.
After a while, the contractions started to get worryingly closer together and my baby’s heart rate was very fast so they gave me more drugs to slow them down. Seven hours after it all began, I was told that they were concerned as the baby’s heart rate showed no signs of slowing. I was six centimetres dilated and she’d got stuck. My hips might be wide but this kid wasn’t going anywhere. Time for a C-section, they said. From the moment they admitted me to hospital four days prior, I knew this was how the story was going to end. Call it Mother’s intuition. I was ready for sleep by the time they’d gowned up. I remember my husband telling me to stay awake and promising me a Mulberry bag (of course, I never got my ‘push’ present…). I just wanted to curl and snooze but before I knew it I heard a shrill scream.
At 4:12am on 7th April, they pulled her out of the cosy little nook she’d spent almost nine months in. She was not happy. 7lb 8oz of perfect, pink flesh. I don’t remember much after this, other than I was moved into a recovery room, given a shot of morphine (it tasted of vodka and blackcurrant), and nibbled on toast, which I violently threw back up. The midwife cleaned me up and passed me the little monster who had made my pregnancy hell. My first thought? ‘Oh fucking hell, now what?’.
At the time, I was so high on drugs that I felt a bit like a robot. I didn’t feel or think much at all. My birth experience still feels so surreal but it’s only now I can see just how delicious it really was. As I write this, my two and a half year old naps beside me. And I wish, I wish so hard that I could be transported back to those mental few days, just so I could soak it all up again. Because although I didn’t think so then, those were the most amazing few days of my life.’
Apologies for the lack of posts this week. Once the Royal Baby George Alexander Louis had been born and Twitter had calmed down with ‘What Kate wore’ and ‘Didn’t William do well fitting the baby seat’ tweets, I too collapsed in a hormonal heap. What a week it had been for us all. And in case for those of you who entered the competition are freaking out that the winner hasn’t been announced…… fear not! I will be drawing the winner randomly as a few of you clever clogs guessed George!
Now I’m on my holidays in Somerset with the girls and Daddy Pig. The weather broke the day after we arrived and obviously I only packed summer dresses and zero waterproofs for the entire family (she says as torrential rain pours down the window). But never one to let you lot down, I have another birth story for you all to sink your Monday teeth into. Not the typical water birth/home birth/hypno birth but one to certainly get you thinking . If everything in your birth plan goes to pot and you’re faced with having to be put to sleep knowing when you wake up your baby will be already be born, how would you recover not just physically but emotionally? Emi shares her story.
Twitter: Emi Ozmen
‘So after 9 months of a pretty disastrous pregnancy (2 bleeds, 1 hospitalisation for stomach bug, 1 hospitalisation for blood clot, 7 months of morning sickness, scans in case cervix was thinning too early, suspected diabetes, pregnancy induced hyperthyroidism ) I was DESPERATE to go into labour. I couldn’t get my head around what other pregnant women were scared of; that’s the day you get your baby and don’t have to be pregnant any more. I kept thinking I’ve run the London marathon, labour is going to be fiiiiine.
Turns out it wasn’t that fine.
I was booked in for induction on Friday 13th. I was induced twice, the first time it had to be stopped as my contractions came too fast. The second time the same thing happened and so was rushed into a room on the labour ward. Until my waters broke I remember enjoying my contractions. Someone once told me it feels like period pain. It doesn’t. To me it is a wave like feeling. Strangely like an orgasm but not enjoyable. But not painful. That’s the wrong word. Once my waters broke I lose track of what happened. I definitely got loud (after always cringing at the screamers on One Born Every Minute). I was that one. The really loud out of control one that was whaling and crying. The anaesthetist was called to give me an epidural. He couldn’t get it in my back. Another anaesthetist was called. He couldn’t either. Everyone gave up assuring me it wouldn’t be long until the baby would be born, so hang in there.
6 hours later I had the unstoppable urge to push. The baffled midwives couldn’t understand why I was only 2 cm dilated. I don’t remember much at all from this point on except Adam and one midwife out of the 4 or 5 people all looking at my notes and at me in total confusion. The three of us were a little team. She held lavender under my nose, got me in the bath, both had one of my hands each and the 3 of us somehow got through another 2 hours. The baby’s heart rate monitor started bleeping and the decision was made for an emergency c section. I remember more needles in my back which failed again and finally the relief of being told ‘Emi we’re going to put you to sleep when you wake up your baby will be here’….
It was the most surreal amazing dream that when I came round Adam passed me my baby. I can’t remember much about those first hours, she fed as I slept, we all slept on and off for hours. As the sun came up we realised we hadn’t even called our parents, we were already the 3 of us in our bubble.
I still don’t feel like I’ve woken up some days. I’ve spent everyday for this last year by her side. we have always coslept with her and I still breastfeed on demand. I haven’t taken anyone’s advice on how to parent silver. We follow our instincts and follow her lead.