I’ve wanted to share our story about what happened to us during the BIG Labour Day(s!) for a while and this has sat in my drafts for quite a while. It isn’t a scare monger story but it is a truthful account of the events that happened. Labour Day(s) didn’t pan out as I had imagined. It hasn’t been my the labour that I’ve thought about the most, it was the aftermath that I have struggled to come to terms with. Little man is now a year and I now feel strong enough to share this major event in our lives.
When we dreamed of post labour day, we planned picnics in the park, lazy summer days…it was going to the best summer EVER! Er…it wasn’t. For me it was one of the worst summers. I feel pretty guilty saying it, even now! I can even remember thinking “I can handle 12 hours of labour”. Well actually…….
Labour was a 70 hour affair, he had turned back to back and was resting on a nerve that was so painful it was worse than contractions. It also meant I didn’t get any signs to do a wee. Resulting in a bladder holding 1.5 litres of wee (3 times the normal amount). He couldn’t turn as my bladder was in the way. It was a hot day…or was it night…I have no idea! So once they drained me and held the golden bag of wee up like Simba from the Lion King, things finally got moving!
I had written out this lovely birthing plan…it was meant to be a serene and calm experience. I had been doing hypnobirthing, meditating every nigth for months I wasn’t against pain relief but wanted to see if I could do it as naturally as possible. The plan never left the bag. I never made into the birthing pool, the candles were never lit.
So here is how it went down over the 70 hours….
*I was sent home twice
*We were having a heat wave
*I spent hours in the bath; at home and at the hospital (Eww!)
*Wore a TENS machine for days, until I couldn’t take the sensation any more and the wires were more of a pain in the arse
*Had 3 sweeps, these were not too bad…uncomfortable…but over quickly.
*Listened to the hyno birthing women telling me my cervix is opening easily on repeat….the bitch lied! It was 2-3cm for 2 days! I have since deleted her! Even a bloke smoking a joint at the entrance of the hospital was treated to her dulcet tones!
*Met a neighbour at the entrance ….her going in, me being sent home again
*Was put on the ward with women that had just had a baby, whilst I moaned in agony as every time he moved the electric shock of a trapped nerve shook my whole body.
*Met one “New Mum” that kept wanting to talk to me, whilst I was trying to get over nerve pain and contractions
* My legs turned blue every time I stood up, no one could tell me why!
*Wore the same maxi dress for three days, once wearing inside out and back to front on one trip to the hospital.
*Catheter drainage, I do not even remember it going in, just the amount coming out!
*My waters were broken – again a bit uncomfortable but over quickly. But at that point trust me when I say you don’t really care!
*Gas and Air- bloody great, I was told to stop taking quite so much of it!
*Induced with Syntocinon hormone drip – it’s very intense, however with the gas and air, hypnobirthing breathing and the voice of that bloody women, zoning out and poor Rob rubbing my legs through EVERY contraction it was bearable!!!!(ish). I could not tell you how long it went on for.
*I focused on a soap dispenser for 12 hours during every contraction. It bizarrely helped me get through it.
*I remembered not to bite down on the gas and air and just breath through contractions – it really did help
*I hardly ate during the whole time, I normally cant go for 4 hours without not having a funny turn and needing some grub! My well organised snack tub never got open.
*Some how I cat napped during the last hog, waking up talking about random stuff ” I really don’t want to go to India” ” Am I going to get a hangover in the morning”
*I kept my sense of humour apparently! Even when two of the midwives moved my bed to the ward, banging into EVERY corner. whilst I was having contractions..It really was like something off a comedy show! They said they had never done it before…you could tell!!! I have no idea how I was laughing!
*After ages of pushing and no baby, I was told I had to go in theatre. I was gutted and scared
*A spinal injection in the cold clinical setting of the theatre, surrounded by a lot of people, bright lights. I was scared and kept wondering if I was doing the right thing
*An out of body experience as my numb legs were put in stirrups. I was scared and felt now out of control. My trust, my body, my baby, my control had to be handed over to the pros
* I pushed with no feeling at all, I certainly did not breathe my baby out
*A vontouse was used twice, unsuccessfully. The last pull nearly swung the midwife round and round on her chair. No baby. I was scared, numb and shattered
*I begged not to have a C-section. The Forceps came out. I pushed and felt nothing, I know I was pushing the hardest I could, but couldn’t feel a thing.
*I begged for one last push. I pushed with as much strength as I could muster. Maddox entered the world. I was numb, I was shattered.
*His tiny perfect body was placed on me, he was amazing. I had done it. Rob was so happy, so proud of me. In love with our son. I felt shock and numb from any emotion. We took selfies in a blur.
*I was stitched up, and heard the words ” I cant stop the bleeding”. I was alone at this point. I (I had to stop writing and have a quick sob..I’m back now). I thought I was going to die at this point, I was going to drift away and leave my family. I was numb, exhausted, out of control and scared. I have since then found out I would never have died.
1.15am 26th July 2016 Maddox was born and started his journey in this world, with us at his side. At 1.16am 26th July 2016 my journey as a mother began and my recovery started. Nearly a year later, I am still learning on my journey as a mother and am enjoying it more every day.
My recovery mentally and physically is still on going. I suffered Post Natal Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, Post Traumatic Shock Syndrome lasting around 2 months, distended bladder meaning I had to wear a catheter for 10 days, I was in hospital for 6 days, mild prolapse womb, bowel incontinence for 5 days after, meaning I couldn’t take the iron pills and bearing in mind I lost a litre of blood, so had zero energy and lived of raw spinach, I had to be injected for 10 days with anti-coagulants, poor Robs’ job when we got home, I then got mastitis, when we went back into hospital for the day to get the catheter removed. I didn’t breast feed all day as it was all too traumatic being back there and waiting 6 hours hours just to pee, the moment I walked through the front door I knew I had it, so was on antibiotics the next day. I had weekly physiotherapy, counselling, went to the listening service at the hospital that talked me through the labour and what really happened.
I still need to go to the Gynaecologist but I just can’t face going into that part of the hospital. I know I need to go. I will go.
Maddox suffered bruising from the forceps and surface wounds from the vontouse, but these have all healed. He had mild jaundice for a day or two, but once we put him on formula it went. He is a beautiful happy chappy. He is a sensitive, laid back, loving little soul. He is calm mannered and loves an applause! My one and only true love.
Nothing quite prepared me for what happened, if you are reading this and expecting please do not think that what happened to me will happen to you. I had a particularly rough time of it, even the midwives hugged me! Its rare to go through all what I went through. However you may be reading this having gone through a pretty horrible experience, I want you to know that you are not alone and if you are reliving your Labour Day over and over, please talk to your GP and know there are people that can help you deal with it.
I am gradually getting closure on the first part of our new lives together. I can say I love being a Mum (most days) The first few months most days, I mostly hated vast parts of it, I can admit that and not feel ashamed. It was bloody tough! I feel love for Maddox that I never knew possible. If you have not felt the “rush” of love yet, with your little one….please be rest assured you will, it will come. I promise. I get “Love Rage” every day now!
My body is still healing, Im not quite 100% but would say I’m 87% back. Which I am so proud of! Your body is an amazing thing!
Remember whatever your story be kind to yourself! Your body and mind will heal. It took 9 months to grow a baby, do not be surprised if it takes 9 months to feel normal. It could take longer or you may be lucky and might spring back a lot quicker. Also, remember I am here…if you thought it, felt it! I bet I have too!