Our baby girl Thea Alexandra Glen finally arrived into the world on Tuesday 15th August 2017 at 10.30am, weighing 8lbs exactly. Here is her birth story…
I had my second sweep on Friday 11th August which didn’t seem like it did much at the time. I then had a bath with clary sage oil on the Saturday and then lost my mucus plug over the course of the evening and overnight. On Sunday I had another clary sage bath on the morning and at 9.30pm I began contracting every 5-10 minutes for 90 seconds each time.
I managed to hold off until 12.15am on Monday morning before calling the assessment unit the first time and then eventually decided to go into hospital at 2am because the contractions were 3 in 10 minutes. On arrival I was examined and told I was only 2cm dilated but I could stay on the assessment unit in a private room if I wanted because they could see how much pain I was in and how regular the contractions were coming. They also gave me gas and air which felt amazing!
A few hours later they lead us up to central delivery suite as although I was low risk and wanted to give birth on the MLU, they were short staffed and no one could be spared at that moment away from the busier delivery suite. We did however get given a large room with a big bath which I could labour/birth in if I wanted. By far my “favourite” part of labour was being in the bath with gas and air, feeling in control of my contractions. By 9am I was dilated to 4cm so was feeling quite optimistic. My next examination at 1pm however I was still only 4cm, so the midwife broke my waters to see if it would help to bring baby down onto the cervix and dilate it more. This is where things got quite intense and the pain was quite unbearable. I was examined again a few hours later but there was no change so the decision was made to move onto the syntocin drip which meant I would be bedbound for the remainder of the labour. Based on this, the pain levels of my current contractions and the exhaustion of being in labour for over 20 hours, I decided that before the drip was in place I wanted to have an epidural sited to relieve the pain.
I was started on the syntocin drip at 6pm for 6 hours. By 12am I had only dilated a further 1cm to 5cm but the consultant was happy to let me go on further. At 4am I was examined again by the consultant and was 7cm, this made me feel a bit more positive but I was told that if I wasn’t 9-10cm dilated by my next examination at 8am then we would likely have to go for a Caesarean section. Luckily, when the midwife examined me after a further 4 hours I was fully dilated. They then gave me 2 more hours for baby to descend naturally down the birth canal before I could begin pushing. As I had had the epidural and was only feeling the strongest contractions, they would need to tell me when to push.
Eventually we got round to pushing from 10.10am to 10.30am and our beautiful daughter was born. I was given the injection to medically remove the placenta, however this didn’t work and the midwife realised I was losing a lot of blood. They tried to pull out the placenta but the remaining cord snapped therefore there was no chance of removing it without going into theatre. The midwives immediately handed Thea over to Matt and pushed the emergency button so that they could get me whisked away before I lost more blood. In theatre I was given general anaesthetic instead of topping up my epidural because of the time crunch and I was told I may need a blood transfusion. Luckily that wasn’t the case and they were able to remove the placenta vaginally so I didn’t need a c-section either although I did lose 1.3l of blood and had a few stitches for a 2nd degree tear.
I came out of theatre at around 12.30 to find both mums had arrived to support Matt and that Thea was perfectly healthy so I was happy. After a few hours I had the feeling back in my legs and we were wheeled round to the postnatal ward to recover for the evening. Before that I had the most amazing hospital toast and a coffee, it literally felt like a Michelin star meal!
We were eventually discharged from hospital by Wednesday afternoon so around 24 hours after getting out of theatre and 60 hours after first entering the hospital in labour! My recovery has been pretty good, I was discharged with blood thinning injections due to the time spent immobile during labour, iron tablets due to the blood loss and some pain killers to generally help with any pain from the stitches/removal of the placenta.
My labour was very far removed from what I had wanted or imagined but overall I am happy with how I coped as it unfolded and you just can’t predict what will happen so in the moment you have to go with the flow and remain rational. The best decision I made was to have the epidural before the Syntocin drip was administered, as I knew I would be bedbound and therefore would struggle to deal with the pain of the contractions. Even if I could deal with the pain using gas and air or perhaps having Meptid or Pethidine, there would have been no way to sleep through the contractions and I think I would have been too tired to carry on. By having the epidural I managed to get enough sleep during the 16 hours on the drip to feel “refreshed” enough to push my baby out.
We are now on day 4 of being home as a family of 3 (or 5 if you include the pets!) and we are settling down nicely. So in love with our perfect little girl 😍