When a birth doesn’t go to plan……

When we received this birth story from Julie, we knew we had to share it with you. We cant always choose the birth we get, and it can take time to come to terms with a birth that didnt go the way we want it, but you must remember  – you can never fail at birth. Here’s Julie’s story:

“I have never been one for strong feelings towards birthing, in fact there was a time when I wasn’t convinced I would ever have children. However, upon meeting my husband and venturing into the world of teaching as my vocation I realised quickly that I was destined to have children. When I fell pregnant, people would ask throughout what my birthing plan was and I would overtly say ‘I don’t have one – whatever it takes to get her out safely’. I still stand by this, though I did not realise that my Disney fairy tale upbringing had allowed me to deep root feelings towards my happy ever after birth.

My birth story began on Saturday 21st November (at 38 + 5 weeks) at 3.30pm (3 hours after my – what was to be last – prenatal yoga class had finished). I had stressed out at my husband the night before as we still didn’t have the hospital bag ready and the amount of clothes I had washed that week had nowhere to live as the chest of drawers hadn’t been built! I offered to help out with the preparations by building the next to me crib we had bought. I was trying to open the box which was sealed with the strongest superglue EVER as after a number of strained yanks, I felt a pop and then a small gush… My waters had broken!! No contractions yet but we went to the hospital whereby they sent us home with the plan to be induced if nothing was to start. This was initially planned for 3.30pm on the Sunday (24 hours) but the midwife came back to us and said that hospital policy had changed and it was now the morning after 24 hours once waters had broken for induction.

My first contraction was at 01.30am on Sunday morning, and at 10am they were slowly beginning to be regular albeit far apart at every 25 minutes. Fast forward to 01.00am on Monday morning and they were every 4 minutes apart. We called the birth centre at the hospital and they said they would prefer them every 2-3 minutes apart before going in. By 3.00am, I couldn’t wait any longer so we went to the hospital. After an hour in the reception because they were short staffed and busy, I was examined and only 2cms and given the news that we’d have to go home. Well you can imagine my response… Hell NO – I had to be back for induction in a few hours anyway! So they called up to the labour ward, and I was admitted. I was told I should’ve been at the hospital at 3.30pm on Sunday and was now at risk of infection so was to be put straight on antibiotics (which caused panic as I’m allergic to penicillin and a couple of the alternatives!!) and put on a more aggressive form of induction to speed it all up. I hadn’t slept for nearly 36 hours by this point so went straight onto get an epidural as suggested for the induction so I could get a bit of sleep too. At this point, it is worth it to point out, the labour ward far exceeded my expectations – we had our midwife in our room all day on a one to one basis. She made me and my husband and Mum feel so calm and content with everything… She should be a TCBS advocate!

At 4.00pm I was overstimulated and having 7 contractions in 10 minutes so they turned off the induction completely (which had been a small amount anyway as my body was responding well). Upon examination I was still only 6 cms ????. Shift changes came at 8.00pm, and at 9.00pm I was examined again as our little baby had been struggling in the heart department for an hour or so… I was still only 6cms and her heart rate was at 180. At this point, I was told it needed to be an emergency c-section. At 10.22pm on Monday 23rd November, Florence Mae Harvey was born weighing 8lbs 1oz. As my epidural had dropped out around my hips twice through the day, the anesthetist had given me a little more than normal for the op and as a result I was quite delirious through the procedure and then couldn’t move my arms after until the next morning therefore was unable to hold or feed my baby. This made me feel quite sad with the process as we didn’t get skin to skin, I didn’t get that moment with my husband after the baby was born and in all honesty I wasn’t really with it for the next 36 hours as I was then told I’d lost a lot of blood in theatre and was nearly given a blood transfusion. We were then in hospital for 5 days with both me and Florence on antibiotics as I had developed chorioamnionitis (an infection of the placenta).

Roll on 9 weeks later, and many hormonal and emotional panics that I hadn’t bonded with my baby girl because of missed instances I felt SHOULD have happened because of TV such as OBEM and stories online, I now have that bond with my child that I wish I had never doubted would be there. Throughout my labouring at home, I used the breathing techniques learned through TCBS and listened to all the mp3’s on a loop which helped. I would’ve been a wreck otherwise as I’m terrible with pain!

However, lesson learned… Your birth has to be accepted by you for the wonder that it is regardless of how it happens. It has taken me 9 weeks to get to this point”.

To see how you can create your own calm birth please sign up here: www.thecalmbirthschool.com/freehypnobirthing-2016

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