I’m writing this at 1:50am with a sleeping baby lying across my lap on a breastfeeding pillow. I know this isn’t ideal; not only are babies meant to sleep flat on their backs, but it also means I’m sat upright trying to sleep.
We’ve had the worst evening with him and nothing could get him to settle so this was my last resort. Naturally, Rich and Dexter are both now sleeping soundly whilst mama bear here is in for the long haul.
What better time to share with you the story of how this gorgeous little baby entered the world.
Last Friday evening started off the same as any other. We were sat watching TV and binge eating popcorn when I noticed the period pains I’d been getting were actually worse than usual. I just had this feeling that that evening, or the early hours of Saturday morning would change our lives forever.
And I was right.
Those pains woke me at 1am on the 13th and I did my usual struggle to get out of bed and waddle to the toilet trip. As I neared the bathroom I felt my waters go, which actually was quite convenient as I managed to make it to the toilet before making too much of a mess.
I’d read that the water would look pink so when I saw that mine was slightly green with dark lumps in, I thought something wasn’t quite right. So I called delivery and they asked me what colour my waters were and once I’d explained they told me it sounded as though my baby had opened his bowels inside me. Nice work Dexter.
I shouted out to Rich that my waters had broken and a slightly panicked voice replied. I was surprised by how calm I felt and managed to make it out the house with everything we needed and the dog sorted before we left. Rich called his Dad from hospital to let him know operation go stay with the dog was in full swing.
What I didn’t know from any books I’d read was that yours waters continue to break well into your labour. On the way to the hospital I wore a thick maternity pad and some maternity leggings but half way up the a419 the gush of water to leave my body was unreal and totally unexpected. By the time we pulled up, I was soaked but it didn’t stop coming and Rich grabbed a wheelchair to wheel me in and up to delivery.
Once inside, I was put into a room where they sorted us out and read my maternity notes. They then got us comfortable in a room where I would be giving birth to our little boy. Or so we thought.
Things started off great. I’d been practicing hypnobirthing and I’d brought along some battery-powered candles which I placed around the room and dimmed the lights. I spend my life in low lighting at home and I wasn’t about to bring my first child Into the world in any other way. So we dimmed all the lights and put some soothing hypnobirthing music on.
I breathed through the early contractions as though I was born to give birth. I was nailing labour and even surprised myself. But they still insisted on inducing me and even as I write this, I’m not entirely sure why. My waters had broken naturally and I was so happy about this because being induced was not appealing to me at all. The midwife explained that once the drip was in, my contractions would be more intense.
My pain threshold isn’t great but I did hold out for as long as I could bear before asking for some sort of pain relief. This is where I was offered pethidene on top of the gas and air that I’d already been inhaling as if my life depended on it. The pethidene was great but it made me sick a few times which couldn’t haven’t been fun for Rich to watch, although lets face it, he was about to witness a lot worse.
My contractions became quite intense and at this point I decided to ask for an epidural but unfortunately there was only one anaesthetist in the entire hospital and so I had to wait it out.
By the time he arrived, I was so happy to see him I could have hugged him.
The process of having an epidural was one I was not prepared for. I genuinely thought it was a quick injection in the spine. But no, it takes 20 minutes to do and when your contractions are coming every 5 minutes or so, it felt like it took an eternity for him to administer it. Once it was done I instantly felt the effects of it and I became a lot more comfortable. I noticed that it worked better down my left side than it did my right but the pain was bearable and that’s all I cared about.
I’m not entirely sure how long this phase lasted but at some point, when I went to push the little button which controls the epidural, my left arm went completely cold. It was then that the midwife noticed the epidural had come out and little did I know it would be another 2 hours before the anaesthetist would be able to come back. I think it was at this point where things started to go wrong for me mentally.
I’d lost control of dealing with the pain and my hypnobirthing techniques failed to work. It wasn’t helpful that Dexters heart rate was at times dropping and I started to worry about him more and more, which meant I wasn’t able to stay calm. By the time I had my epidural put back in, the pain down my right side was too unbearable and the epidural failed to mask this pain completely. I also had horrible pains in both my ribs which prevented me from taking in the breath I needed when they eventually told me I could start pushing.
Even now I’m not entirely certain as to why they thought I could start pushing when I wasn’t fully dilated. I never felt that urge to push that so many women feel and that upsets me a little if I’m honest. I so badly wanted to bring Dexter into the world by myself and seeing as it started off so well, I was gutted to hear the doctor say I wasn’t getting anywhere after only pushing for about 20 minutes. His heart rate was still dropping and the pain I felt was excruciating so they decided to take me down for a forceps delivery. Hearing them say this sent me into panic mode and I completely lost it.
Looking back, I remember feeling so overwhelmed with emotion that I couldn’t control the sobs coming out of me. I was scared about my baby and worried about being cut down there all whilst being in the worst pain I’d ever felt in my life. It all felt so surreal when they wheeled me into theatre. They gave me a spinal block which was so weird. I remember feeling a naked leg and wondering who the fuck didn’t have any clothes on until I realised that leg, was in fact, my own. I just couldn’t feel it. LOL.
The curtain went up and they told me to push even though I had no feeling in my body whatsoever so I had no idea if I was pushing or not. And then I saw him. All purple and swollen coming up over the curtain and being placed on my chest. And I waited for that overwhelming feeling of love, yet I didn’t instantly feel it. I felt slightly detached from him and it crossed my mind that it wasn’t normal for me to feel that way.
They took him and gave him to Rich then weighed him and wrapped him up ready to be placed in my arms again whilst they stitched me up. It was then when I felt love toward this tiny purple human as I kissed his sleepy head and held him close on my skin.
I stayed in hospital for one night and let Rich go home because although partners are allowed to stay the first night, there aren’t any beds for them to stay in. I also figured it would be better if at least one of us was well rested before taking a newborn baby home for the first time.
And that is the story of how Dexter Boraston came into the world. Yes it was traumatic and the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I can’t yet bring myself to say I’d ever want to do it again, but of course it was totally worth it because look at my baby boy and his gorgeous little face.
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