When I was pregnant with Joshua, I had what I thought was a great birth plan.
I was going to have my baby in the birthing centre, have gas and air if needed and stay clear of an epidural and pethidine.
I was also aware that I would be offered oxytocin (or syntometrine) to help my womb contract down so that all the blood vessels in the wall of the womb seal off once the placenta comes away.
Midwives call this ‘active management of the third stage of labour’. It speeds up delivery of the placenta, meaning it will usually just take around five to ten minutes. The injection may have the side effect of making you feel dizzy or sick.
Because of the side effects I wrote in my birth plan that I didn’t want the injection.
So like I said I thought this was a great birth plan.
My labour started around 5.30pm and by 11pm I was at a pain level 6/7 contracting every 5 mins. I went to the hospital and to my horror I was only 2cm, they sent me home and after a night of no sleep constant contracting and being sick I went back at 7am. I was still only 2/3cm and could have cried, it was at that point I asked them to break my waters so hopefully it would speed things up.
Unfortunately this was classed as medical intervention and meant I couldn’t stay in the birthing centre (birthing plan fail Number 1) and had to be moved to the maternity ward and wait until a delivery room was available. This was hell, I basically just lay on the bed quietly moaning for about an hour while the nurse offered me some paracetamol. If one more person offered me paracetamol I would have punched them. What the fuck does that do!
When I finally got the delivery room, I met my two midwifes who were amazing. They broke my waters and the contractions started to come thick and fast!
At what I think was about 11am, I was still only 3cm. It all became a blur tbh….around lunchtime the midwife suggested I have some pethidine to help me rest as I hadn’t slept or eaten in almost 24 hours. I was really against pethidine as I had read that it passes to the baby, so sometimes your baby can be born quite sleepy. The midwife said it should have left my system by the time the baby is born as I was only 3cm….so I agreed (birthing plan fail Number 2)
What can I say about pethidine…..it basically makes you high as a kite, the best way to describe it was like having an out of body experience. Very weird! You can still feel the pain but you are so high you basically don’t care.
At around 3.30pm I was examined again and was I was 5cm. (I was also given some Pitocin before to speed up my labour) I wanted to cry….it had taken me 22 1/2 hours to get to fucking 5cm. I was done with life at this point. I politely turned to my midwife and asked if I could have an epidural, she asked if I was sure as my birthing plan had stated I didn’t want one. I thought about it, but at this point all I could think was if it has taken me all this time to get to 5cm, how long would it take me to get to 10cm and then how would I have the energy to push! I decided to have the epidural. (Birthing plan fail Number 3)
After about 45mins I received the epidural, this gave me a bit of relief and I even managed to eat a bit of a sandwich!
The midwifes came to check me around 5ish and to everyone’s shock I was almost at 10cm! Don’t take the piss I thought I just got comfy! At 5.25pm Joshua was born.
After I gave birth I had a substantial bleed, so my option of delivering my placenta naturally was taken away from me. (Birthing plan fail Number 4) Just my luck all the known side effects, I had. I was dizzy, faint and couldn’t stop being sick. This really affected how I bonded with Joshua in that first hour as I couldn’t really hold him! So I was slightly gutted about that!
I know this was a super long post, so hopefully you got to the end without being bored, but I wanted to show you how I planned for my birth and it all went tits up basically! In the end I delivered a healthy 8lbs 10oz baby so that’s all that mattered.
I’m determined to get the birth I wanted so my birth plan for this time despite my epic fails the first time will be;
⁃ Drug free
⁃ Water birth in the birthing centre
⁃ Natural delivery of the placenta
⁃ Keep my placenta for encapsulation
The moral of the story, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again.