Zara’s Birth Story

I know, it’s been 3 weeks since Zara arrived into our lives but I’ve just been cherishing each and every day so getting the birth story out hasn’t been vital, but I feel like now is the time!
Sunday 4th September, 2016

I was the big 41 weeks pregnant. As soon as the doctors at the hospital gave us the all clear to switch back to midwife led care and continue with our pregnancy as normal, I knew we’d be going overdue. I’d already had two membrane sweeps (one at 39+6 weeks and another at 40+3 weeks), so I was just waiting for the midwife to arrive for a third, and final, sweep of my membranes. I figured if three didn’t work then there would be no point in having any more. So Jane, my midwife, arrived around 11am to do my 41 week appointment and a membrane sweep. All my checks were fine, as was baby. She was still head down, back against my belly and 3 fifths engaged. My cervix was 2cm dilated, very soft and very stretchy but none of this had changed since the last sweep. The sweep was performed, it was a very uncomfortable sweep and I had to focus on my breathing throughout, then my induction was booked for the Friday.

After the midwife had left, we got ourselves ready as we were heading out to see Darren’s parents. During the car journey I was getting some pretty uncomfortable tightenings and they felt different to the braxton hicks I was used to so I knew to pay attention to them. During our visit I started timing the tightenings and they were coming every 10 minutes but slowing down. On the way home they picked up again but were still quite far apart.

We’d put Keira and Joshua to bed at 8pm and had a little tidy up before I sat down to use the laptop, that’s when I noticed the tightenings were getting a bit more intense. They were actually making me stop what I was doing but still only 10 minutes apart. I sat on my exercise ball and bounced away, I even had to get my tens machine out!

The contractions weren’t getting any closer together but they were getting stronger, so I thought I’d go to bed and try to sleep though them. No chance!! They were worse in pain when I lay down so no way was I getting some shut eye. I woke Darren up and got him to ring the hospital to see when we should go in. The midwife on the phone said the usual 5 minutes apart lasting a minute long. So I was expecting to be in for a long ride.

Monday 5th September, 2016

So my contractions were getting more and more painful. Walking around the house just wasn’t helping any more. So we got the kids in the car and took them to their Nana and Grandad’s so I didn’t have to worry about them. During the car journey my contractions moved to 7 minutes apart. Still no where near 5 minutes but something must have been happening.

We rang the hospital again and they said I could come in to be assessed so I could see where I was. So off to triage we went.

A midwife assessed me and she told me that I was only 3cm dilated. I felt slightly disheartened, I knew to be admitted to delivery suite/birth centre you had to be at least 4cm. I felt so close but so far away! The midwife said I could go up to the maternity ward or I could go home and wait it out there. I didn’t really want to get back in the car, it hurt so much more in there but I didn’t want to be stuck on the ward. So we decided to stay around the hospital. I knew that being in the fresh air helped to ease the pain of the contractions so we walked around the hospital grounds.

My contractions seemed to have shot up to every 2 minutes and they were getting very painful so I went back to triage to see if they could assess me again.
Back in triage, waiting to be seen by the midwife. Yes!!! I’m 5cm!!! It was looking hopeful now that I managed to do 2cm in an hour! I thought that this labour may go a bit quickly now.

When the midwife arrived to take us to what we thought would be the birth centre, she told us that the birth centre was closed due to lack of staff and we would have to be on delivery suite. I was super annoyed but I just wanted to get to that room to get on the gas and air. I still had my tens machine on the go though.

I don’t know what time we got to delivery suite, but I was so happy to have gas and air. After a while of standing through the contractions, the midwife suggestion sitting on a birthing ball. It was heaven!! I could bounce on this ball and it seemed to help ease my contractions. I stopped timing them at this point but I’m sure they were every 2 minutes or so.
We were still going, they were definitely increasing in pain and I couldn’t believe we were still going! There was so much pressure in my bum and I kept saying it felt like I needed to poo. I even had some urges to push but they weren’t strong enough to make me think we were fully dilated. The midwife with us said that if we hadn’t had a baby by 6am, she’d assess us to see how far we were and break my waters if they hadn’t gone.

We were still going. So the midwife assessed me. 6cm. Another blow but I expected it. So the midwife broke my waters and boy was there a lot! It was then that the midwife discovered Zara had turned herself around and she was back to back. Fantastic. I didn’t have any pain in my back so I was completely unaware of her position. The midwife did say that that would probably explain all the pressure in my bum.

As soon as my waters were broken I could tell that my contractions were intensified! They were so painful now, I was struggling to remember to breathe through them and started holding my breath. I couldn’t even move off the bed. I was just super glad that there was a fan in the room because I was getting so hot!

The midwife checked me again to see where we were as she was getting worried about my slow progress, I was getting urges to push so she didn’t want me causing any damage to my cervix if I wasn’t fully dilated.

10cm and Zara had turned herself around so she was no longer back to back!! Yes!! Seems that breaking my waters was all I needed for progress to be made.

Pushing was so painful! The ring of fire is true, the burning pain is unreal. But out came her head, finally. Then her shoulders got stuck. Wonderful.

I finally pushed her out and she was born! She was instantly placed on my chest and cried straight away. She was perfect!

We chose to delay her cord being clamped so once it was ready to be clamped Darren got to cut the cord.

It might not have been the home birth I wanted, at the time my contractions were getting worse, I just didn’t feel like a home birth was the right choice for me. It wasn’t even the birth centre birth that I was hoping for, but my beautiful daughter was born safely into this world and she was healthy so that’s all that matters. Even after all the growth scans and worries of her being a small baby. Turns out there was nothing to worry about anyway, not with her weighing 8lbs 3oz!

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  1. Aw congratulations, Zara is such a little cutie! I can't believe the birth centre was closed, but I guess at the time you just want the gas and air! Well done for getting through it all! xx

  2. I get so emotional reading birth stories, especially as I only gave birth 8 weeks ago! Such an amazing but difficult experience isn't it? Weirdly, I never felt the ring of fire with either of mine, I've no idea why but I'm guessing I'm lucky! Haha. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

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