I’ve never really thought about sharing this before or even how writing it down might make me feel. Especially as we are now after 6 years, thinking about trying to conceive our second child. But as tomorrow is the first day of September and my baby will be 6 in three weeks time, I find myself replaying it in my mind, so why not write it down!
My partner, Carl and I had moved in together, exactly a year after becoming an official couple. Six months later I woke up one morning and vomited after drinking a glass of juice. I didn’t think anything of it, and told Carl on my lunch break, I came home that evening to a pregnancy test on the table 😂.
When I saw the words pregnant 4+weeks, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to feeling a little bit like “oh shit!”. We’d literally always been careful and having only slipped up once, I can pin point the night we conceived to the day. As soon as it had sunk in, we were both over the moon. We always tell Dylan he was the best surprise!
I always say I had a pretty straight forward pregnancy. I did have morning sickness (I would love to meet the person who named it this, as I’m yet to meet a person who only suffered in the morning 🙄) pretty much throughout, along with horrendous heart burn in the evenings. But I genuinely loved being pregnant, I loved my bump, I loved preparing for his arrival, I loved seeing the excitement from both of our families.
Anyway, Dylan was due on the 16th September. On Monday the 17th September I started having contractions, I had a midwife appointment that day, so I went and she told me I was 1cm dilated and that she would give me a membrane sweep. So she did that and then sent me off home, telling me to take paracetamol if I needed to and to get some sleep as hopefully my baby would be here soon. The contractions continued, they were very irregular and the pain was manageable.
I remember the next day, my mum and sister coming and taking me out for a long walk, and my sister pissing herself laughing every time I had to stop for a contraction. That night was really uncomfortable, but I managed and the contractions didn’t become anymore regular or anymore intense, I was pretty fed up though. Wednesday was the same.
Thursday morning, the contractions, became more regular and by now the pain was getting hard to manage, the midwife told me to come in to the maternity ward. She measured me and I was only 2cm dilated, so she gave me another sweep and sent me home again with 2 paracetamol for my troubles 🙄 I was in real pain by now and the only relief I could find was sitting in the bath and spraying the shower on my bump and back. I had a strange feeling in the bath, like I’d maybe peed myself, but that wouldn’t be anything strange at this point I had actually pissed myself twice in the last few weeks, once whilst having a coughing fit and the other whilst being sick. After attempting to sleep, yeah that wasn’t happening, I got up to go to the toilet and while wiping notice I’d lost my mucus plug, but it was bright yellow and I remember thinking it wasn’t quite right. So of course I rang my mum at 2am in the morning, who said she was coming to pick us up.
When I got to the hospital I was in agony, I had been contracting for 4 days, barely slept and had quite literally had enough. After a long wait and full on swearing at the top of my voice in the middle of a packed corridor, they finally examined me. I was 4cm dilated and the yellow mucus meant I had meconium (basically faeces) in my waters, at this point they didn’t really explain what this meant.
I was taken to a delivery suite, where I immediately begged for something stronger than paracetamol, and was subsequently given a morphine injection. Hallelujah, finally I slept for a couple of hours, I was pretty much out of it, hooked up to the monitor.
After I came out of my morphine high, I remember the midwife looking at my trace (the paper print out of the monitor) and leaving the room without saying a word. She came back a few minutes later with another midwife, and they stood whispering and looking at the trace. I knew immediately something wasn’t right. I asked them “what’s wrong? Is something wrong with my baby?” To which they responded with “no everything’s fine.” and then left the room. In my heart though, at this point I knew there was.
The morphine had completely lost effect by now and the contractions were coming hard and fast, so I had a go on the gas and air. Oh god, I still cringe inside at what the gas and air made me say, they don’t call it laughing gas for nothing, I think my other half and my mum nearly wet themselves laughing at me. I was chatting complete rubbish, saying how it was like a hoover sucking the pain away, and it was like being 15 again and smoking a big fat joint (my poor mum, I bet she was dying of shame bless her).
Soon the midwives we’re back and this time with a consultant in tow. He checked the trace and then explained that the babies heartbeat was dipping and that if I didn’t progress soon he would need to do a procedure called a Foetal Blood Sample (FBS), to check the babies blood for oxygen loss. He gave me an examination and I think I was 7cm, although at this point I was pretty panicked and my mum was trying to calm me down. From here, in all honesty it was a bit of a blur, I think that has something to do with the adrenalin or maybe the fact I was so exhausted, but Carl tells me it’s exactly the same for him. But time had no meaning and the order of things is not clear in my brain at all.
At some point I asked for/ was offered an epidural, and it was inserted, all I recall is signing something and freaking out that I’d move and end up paralysed. I was examined again and was 9cm. Shortly after, the consultant came back, and asked if I minded some students watching as he needed to carry out the procedure, at this point dignity was out the window and I agreed. The room filled with people, and I remember thinking “why did I agree to this.” I was asked to lay on my side and had to put my leg up in a stirrup thing, while they inserted a scalpel into my cervix and cut my unborn child’s scalp to take a blood sample.
The next thing I know, Carl is standing there in scrubs, my mums being told to leave and I’m being wheeled into theatre….