My Birthing Story

During the course of my pregnancy and also perhaps due to the amount of stress I was under I developed problems with high blood pressure. When I was one week overdue I was induced, mainly I think due to the issues with my blood pressure. I started feeling contractions about twenty minutes to half an hour after they had swept my cervix with the gel. That was about three o’clock in the afternoon. Our first son, was not born until twenty four minutes past five the next evening via emergency caesarean section. I can say with absolute certainty that the day I gave birth, along with the four days I was in hospital were the worst days of my life. I had started regular contractions at about seven at night, they started off not being too painful and I managed to snatch a few minutes of sleep in-between contractions. But as the night wore on they became steadily more painful, I remember getting in and out of the shower to try and ease the pain and on one occasion I started to cry and I told my husband I didn’t want to do this any more. 

My husband was not prepared for how much pain I was about to go through and I know it took its toll on him as much as it did me. Unfortunately the ante-natal classes we attended did not show any women in labour who were screaming or crying etc. They all just seemed to be in a trance like state and moaning loudly so it didn’t really accurately convey all the “glory” of a full blown labour. I also have an unfortunate biological trigger that causes me to throw up whenever I am in a huge amount of pain, so, as you can imagine this made me very tired and dehydrated. Not really something you want to have happen when you’re in the middle of incredible physical exertion. While I knew that I was going to be in a lot of pain, nothing can prepare you for birthing a child. The baby turned at some point during labour so that his back was against mine. Apparently this is the most painful way to give birth; I had also been given a drip with a drug that increases your contractions because my cervix wasn’t dilating. This causes your uterus to contract as if you were in the later stages of labour. I have heard also that going through an induced labour is more painful than experiencing a normal one. 

After about fifteen hours of labour I felt the need to start pushing, the midwife said that this was good as it meant that we were nearly at the end, this gave me new strength to just keep going a little longer. However when she checked me I was told that my cervix had only dilated five centimetres. I knew I needed to reach ten. My husband has said that the look on my face was one of extreme mental anguish and absolute despair. It is at this point that I wish to say that experiencing the birth of a child that you were both expecting and excited about having is very painful and emotionally, physically and mentally traumatising. Going through labour to give birth to a child that you weren’t expecting is shattering. I requested an epidural to help with the pain, I had originally wanted to go through labour without any pain relief except gas (which I had, but which provided no pain relief whatsoever). My mother, who was also with us during the birth, told me that after I had the epidural I was much more relaxed and peaceful.

After the epidural was in place I was able to doze for a bit and my husband was able to catch up on some precious sleep. My mum was also able to go and find some rest and something to eat and to spend some time with my father who had been out in the waiting room for much of the morning. However, this little bit of peace was soon shattered by the news that I was not dilating and the baby was beginning to go into distress. It looked as if I would need to have an emergency caesarean section to deliver the baby, by this time I was so exhausted I didn’t care what they did as long as the baby was OK. So after consultation with the medical team who were looking after us and discussion with my husband, we decided that we were happy to go with the caesarean and our son was born that evening. Because he had gone into distress he was taken to special care nursery as he had swallowed some mucosa. 

I won’t bore you with a recitation of my time spent in hospital but it was very hard being there without my husband, not sleeping well and being in pain, not to mention the continuous flow of visitors we had that first day. I was in a lot of pain both mentally and physically and spent a lot of my time just crying, I was trying to breast feed also but I wasn’t very successful. I gave up after about two or three weeks; I was too tired, sore and upset to be able to have the motivation or determination to keep at it. As the weeks and months wore on I struggled on as best as I could, but I found it difficult to bond with my son. I knew I loved him but at the same time I didn’t really want to be around him and I am ashamed to admit that a lot of the time I didn’t treat him very well. 

I often lost my temper when he was crying and I didn’t know what to do to settle him. I frequently had to put him down in his cot, close the door and walk away before I did something I might have regretted. I was a little rough with him when I became frustrated and often raised my voice but I knew I needed to change my attitude towards him and also my treatment of him. I regretted my actions whenever I lost control and prayed that God would help me change my heart and help me to bond with him and to treat him in a loving and gentle way. 

Gradually, as he got older and was more independent and able to be more than just a blob, I was able to interact with him a bit more. I was able to bond with him, and we started to do normal mummy and baby things like playing and singing and taking funny photos and doing craft activities. I took myself off the pill after doing some reading about side effects, which can include depression, and I started to feel better within a few weeks. I also was able to start working through all of my mental and emotional webs in relation to the pregnancy and birth of our son. I started to enjoy him and the next year and a half was a lot of fun, trying at times but on the whole I enjoyed spending time with him and doing things with him. Looking back I wish I could have that time all over again, but I can never get it back and so I have to choose now, every day, that I am going to enjoy the time I spend with my kids and make sure they know they are loved. People say it all the time and it sounds cliché, but I’m going to say it any way. Enjoy them while you can. Hold those kids tight mamma’s. Laugh, play, be silly, don’t take yourself too seriously. If the laundry doesn’t get done today, it doesn’t get done. It will still be there tomorrow. We have no guarantee that they will be or even that we will be. Make the most of the time you have NOW, NOT tomorrow, NOT next week. TODAY!

2 thoughts on “My Birthing Story

  1. beautifullyeverafter1 says:

    Oh I can so relate to this! My son was born via emergency cesarean after 24 hours of contractions. So painful and so scary. He was in NICU for two weeks and it was terrifying. I struggled to bond with our son too, I didn’t know what I was doing. But it came and now I love him more than I’ve ever loved anything or anyone in my life x


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