I find it very difficult to talk about my newborn experience with my first born, It was such an overwhelmingly emotional time that I struggle to come to terms with the feelings that the memories bring up. In all honest I think I’ve blocked out most of it to protect myself.
I’ll start from the beginning. January 2015 me and my long term partner found out I was expecting. Exactly one week before my 12 week scan something didn’t feel right, so I asked to be checked over by the early pregnancy unit. They advised me all looked fine. The blood loss was so minimal that it wasn’t a concern and my cervix was still closed but they brought my scan forward to the next day.
My mother and my sister Emma came with me; mum pointing out the baby to Emma…”Oh the baby looks a little small” she says. Then the nurse turns around cold as day “This is why we don’t allow children in the scan rooms, I’m sorry but there’s no heartbeat”.
My entire world crumbled in that second, my baby had died 2 weeks before and my body had not recognized the loss. I went on to have 2 further miscarriages that year; I was broken and desperate for a baby.
Fast forward to Halloween 2016, I met a lad on a night out (I’d split with my previous partner due to my mental state). We exchanged numbers and met up a few times. It was all fun and games at the start. I was in between jobs, so the constant drinking sessions weren’t an issue until I found myself a decent job at the end of December.
I quickly realized this was not the man for me. His lifestyle was not one that would create a good future for anyone involved. New years eve came and I was all ready for a little night out. I was craving a particular drink though…..this had happened before and the cogs started ticking.
About a week later, the sickness started. I was 2 weeks pregnant. I remember being sat on the loo in my parents house watching the line appear. My entire body was trembling. My head fell off instantly and I screamed for my mum. She just sat there, looked at me and went “SHT!”. My response was “Sht indeed”.
A million and one things whirling around my head in that instant. This was what I wanted after all; but not like this. Not alone with an absolute moron for the father. He already had a child from a previous relationship that he didn’t see. In hindsight, this should have been my first red flag when I met him but yano…alcohol.
Of course, he asked me to terminate. His actual words were “I’ve lost my ex and my son now because of you if you keep it”. Not a cat in hells chance was I harming this baby. No offence to anyone who has chosen to take this route in the past, it is just not something I would ever be able to do.
Mine and the father’s ‘relationship’ deteriorated even further to the point where I couldn’t even bare to be in the same room with him. I was doing this alone. It may sound crazy but I did everything in my power to protect this baby. I bought protection crystals and performed protective rituals whenever I could. My birth plan was drawn up. It was going to be the most perfect experience. Water birth, as pain relief free as possible and definitely no forceps. This didn’t happen.
Sat on the loo, I felt this gush and knew instantly that my waters had gone. I phoned up the hospital and asked to go into the birthing suite to be monitored. Mum picked me up and off we went. Contractions started by this point. Every 2 minutes but not unbearable. They was however, in my back not my front. All of my preparation had taught me to visualize the pain in my stomach- I wasn’t prepared for this.
Then the reduced movements started, we was transferred through to the labour ward as my girl would now need to be monitored. This would mean I was no longer allowed to have a water birth- another aspect of my plan out of the window. The pain started to increase now. It was slightly beyond bearable, paracetamol and the birthing ball just wasn’t cutting it.
We must have been a good 8 hours after my waters breaking at this point; around 4am ish and a nurse came to check me, I was still only 2cm. Unbeknownst to me she decided this would also be the perfect time for her to perform a sweep, MY GOODNESS I nearly kicked her bloody head off! Never felt pain like it in my life. I was not a happy bunny.
Instantly my contractions tripled in intensity and I started to get poorly. I didn’t feel well at all. I was cold, sweating shivering, vomiting- something wasn’t right. I began to panic. My mum could see this too and tried to calm me. But I felt like I was dying.
The next few hours were spent begging for some pain relief. Eventually a very lovely lady came and jabbed me in the butt with a shot of Diamorphine. It was heaven; I could actually grab an hour’s kip.
My perfect plan was well and truly gone out the window at this point. Things just got progressively worse.
We was moved to the actual delivery room a good 15 hours after my waters had gone and I was still only 2cm; but I was ill. So ill! I was basically stuck to the bed with monitors attached all over to measure mine and baby’s heart rate along with her movements. There was antibiotic drips in my arms and I had Sepsis.
My baby was in distress. She needed to come out. That’s when the induction started. I couldn’t handle it and opted for an epidural. I was given an hour and checked again; 3cm now. They upped the induction drugs and told me if I had not fully dialted within the next hour, I was gong to theatre.
Finally, almost 22 hours after my waters going, I was 10cm and I could push. Couldn’t feel a thing because of the epidural but one step closer hey. It didn’t work. I couldn’t get her out. I had failed and they needed to intervene.
Luckily, the forceps only needed to be used the once with minimal damage to my babies face. The nurse who did it actually said it was the cleanest forceps delivery she had ever come across. This was a whole 26 hours after my waters had gone. My baby was here, but I felt I had completely failed.
I was defeated by something my body was designed to do and I think this is where my issues started. I felt weak. Why couldn’t I handle it like other mothers can? My poor baby was here in my arms full of drugs and a damaged face. I was gutted.