Its my sons birthday today and each year I remember that birthday 24 years ago, I was busying myself trying to ignore the niggling labour pains, how was I to know that the next 24 hours were going to change my life in ways I could never imagine. It was my sons birthday and having 2 children already I knew that my labours were a lengthy process, so stayed home until it was definitely (or so I thought) time to go in, how was I to know have a happy ever after.
I arrived at the brand new maternity ward around 4 in the afternoon and explained my first pains were about 30 hours ago and were now 2 minutes apart, after being examined I was told I wasn’t actually in labour ? Hello I have given birth twice, I know when I am in labour. I tried to explain what had happened with my second labour, similar situation, back pain not showing contractions on monitor, that time I had attended the hospital when I believed the labour was advanced to avoid the nightmare of my first delivery where I spent 7 hours in the delivery suite. I was told then I was not in labour, given a sleeping tablet and paracetamol then after pacing the ward for a further 2 hours, was examined by a good old fashioned midwife, I will always remember her words to the nurse ” when I rupture the membranes the birth will be imminent” and she wasn’t wrong, 3 minutes after arriving in the delivery suite my daughter was born. The cord was wrapped around her neck and she spent 10 days in SCBU, a scary time with all sorts of tests but in the end, she was fine luckily.
I explained the whole previous situation and they went off to read my notes, which just read, normal delivery nothing about the issues, nothing to say for some odd reason my labour does not show on the monitor, I had a feeling of dejavu, and it was making me nervous, by this time the contractions were extremely painful.
The midwife was friendly and chatty and couldn’t wait to finish work to enjoy a lager with her friends in the glorious sunshine, a little before she left she broke my waters, I was so relieved and believed the birth would be imminent again, when that wasn’t the case I began to feel even more nervous. They had established the baby was back to back, I had never heard of this so did not realise the implications, or how much more painful it was a netmums post makes you realise how problematic this type of birth usually is, which more often that not results in a section, but as yet there was no mention of anything except a normal delivery.
After the staff change over and the catch up time the staff had in the corridor a new midwife appeared, she didn’t like the way the labour was progressing so called a doc, at about 19.30 a doctor looked around the door and was told what was happening, they never actually came anywhere near me, but decided to continue for a short time before any further action be taken. I really wish I knew then what I know now, instead of being my usual accommodating pleasant self I would have been up off the bed dragging them in, there was evidence the baby had opened her bowels which is a clear sign of distress that often results in serious damage even death and should not be ignored, I have also learned that after a doctor believes there are signs of distress, delivery should be in less than 20 mins, god how I wish I knew that then.
The evening progressed in a haze of pain and being barked at by the midwife who just thought I was being a baby, I never show my pain, I never let out as much as a yelp in delivery. By about midnight at the end of every contraction my whole body convulsed, I had no control over it, i was visibly jerking, I was terrified and could see the look of sheer terror on my partners face, I distinctly remember making eye contact with the midwife, she could see what was happening but quickly averted her eyes, I knew that was wrong but still, like an absolute idiot i didn’t want to make too much fuss. The cold cow was rarely even in the room and when she was she didn’t seem to bothered, eventually she requested a doctor attend,
The doctor arrived at 12.50 and was not very pleased that I was still there, she assumed, as she had not been called that I had delivered. She examined me, called for a neonatal crash team and briefly explained there was an anterior cervix lip, preventing the delivery. thebump.com describes this as ‘Basically, this term means that you’re fully dilated, but an edge of your cervix (usually the anterior — or front — of the cervix) is a little bit swollen and is still in the way of baby’s head’.
The doctor believed it was too late for a section, the baby needed to be born immediately so as the next contraction took hold, the midwife held the lip back with her finger, in just that one push the babies head was delivered, within less than a minute she was born. she was the weirdest blueish black colour, and was very floppy, but was incredibly beautiful with a full head of black hair, a little after they took her out of site I heard her, she was croaking like a frog, I stupidly thought this was good, I felt relieved that everything was going to be ok, wow I was so naive and delusional, it never entered my head that her beautiful little brain had been so badly damaged by what I can only describe as a bunch of useless neglectful bastards.
I was very optimistic I stupidly assumed it would be a similar situation, we would be in for a few extra days then home to settle into a routine, I couldn’t have been more wrong, my world would never ever be the same again, I was about to take my seat on the biggest roller coaster of emotions, that would turn my whole life upside down. In 24 years I have never fully talked about this whole section of my life with anyone, I have the odd third party kind of conversations, where I relay the events in a very monotone robot kind of way, no emotion involved, so even writing this much about MY personal experience is a strain, plus there is so much more to say, so I will continue a different day 🙁