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Amy Lewis's Birth Story

Friday, 1 August 2014  |  Mummy and Little Me

After threatening to come early on more than one occasion…a scare where I had started to dilate at around 28 weeks and lots of steroids…baby L decided he’d much rather be fashionably late than unfashionably early to the party. I was almost two weeks over due and I’d had two sweeps but to no avail!  I was booked in for induction on Thursday 3rd June NOT what I wanted at all!  Thankfully little man wanted to make his own appearance into the world…

Sunday 29th May 2011:
I got up and went to the loo and it appeared I’d lost my plug. This is normal after a sweep and doesn’t mean labour is on its way so I just put a pad on and let it go to the back of my mind.  I’d had so many false alarms over the last 10 weeks, I really thought the only way baby was coming was by induction!  It was a typical Sunday for Mr L and I, we went out for a late lunch to our favourite pub, I had my usual, chicken dinner with all the trimmings. We talked a lot about baby Lewis and how we couldn’t wait for him to be here. I was uncomfortable the whole morning and at lunch I was uncomfortable still – nothing new to me though and at 41 weeks pregnant it’s to be expected. I must admit, I felt different. I’m not sure how, but I did.

On the drive home, I admitted to Mr L that I thought maybe baby was going to make an appearance on his own after all. He shrugged my comment off and to be honest, the second I’d said it I’d shrugged it off myself.  The tightening weren’t regular and they weren’t painful just uncomfortable – probably just Braxton hicks then!  We got home and decided we’d watch a film from Sky Box Office and order a take away, being induced on Thursday this would be our last chance for a while. The take away came and we chilled out and put Neds (the film) on.

Settled into our evening and my take away, at 21:36pm I felt and heard a big POP!  I was wet through and so was the sofa!  The weirdest sensation I have ever felt in my entire life.  I jumped up and swore in shock;  Mr L looked at me funny and asked what was wrong. I told him my waters had gone to which he replied “Oh. Shall I get dressed then?” Numpty!!! I went upstairs to change my underwear and trousers and text/messaged all the people I wanted to know.  My sister, Keira and best friend, Jayne were the only people we contacted. I called the hospital and they asked me to wait at least half an hour before going in because they were busy!!! I was warned the contractions could start coming more regular and stronger. I waited 10 before deciding to go up. The contractions were starting to hurt.

By the time we got to hospital, I was puffing and panting and in a fair whack of pain. As it was after 10pm that we arrived at hospital, we had to go through A&E. The nurse who let us through asked if I needed a wheel chair – I said I’d be fine walking but in hindsight I wish I’d accepted the wheelchair! We got up to the ward and there was already a couple waiting to be let in. We waited almost 20 mins or what felt like a lifetime to me before we were let in. We were shown to a room and left. When a midwife eventually came to see us, she checked me over. I was 1cm dilated – not in labour and my waters HADN’T gone, it was my hind waters (waters behind baby)…my actual waters were intact. Gutted was not the word. The midwife was adamant nothing was going to happen anytime soon and wanted me to go home – I point blank refused!

Eventually the midwife agreed to let me stay and we were shown to an empty 6 bed room on the ward so that Mr L could stay with me. I was laid on the bed in sheer agony and begged for some pain killers. The midwife came back with paracetamol and codeine. I could have cried. Blimey it bloody hurt!! I was puffing and panting and telling Mr L I wasn’t sure I could do this. I’ll admit I was quite vocal although not quite up to One Born standards!  The all of a sudden…POP! GUSH! SPLASH! Yes, in that order. My waters went and not only flooded my trousers and the bed but the floor as well. I rang for the midwife. A healthcare assistant came and I half talked half cried when I told her my waters had gone and I NEEDED more pain relief. She went and got the midwife.

A life time seemed to pass by before the midwife arrived at my bedside and I was told to get changed into a nightie and get on the bed ready for inspection (ooer matron!). Getting undressed and dressed was difficult and very undignified. Mr L had to help me with everything. Puffing and panting and telling Mr L yet again I couldn’t do it, I got on the bed. It was sheer agony. I spread my legs before the midwife even had chance to tell me to – I was that eager for her to check my cervix. I was 4-5cm dilated. The midwife looked at me and smiled. “Bloody hell, that was quick! We better get you to labour suite because your baby is on his way” THANK GOD FOR THAT. The end was near, right?

I was made to WALK to the labour ward, I think I stopped about 50 times when a contraction came to puff and pant like a prostitute. I think I may have groaned a few times too. Being female, you can’t have any dignity. Guess how long it took me to get to the room I was assigned to give birth in? You guessed it…A LIFE TIME!!! I asked for an epidural. The midwife told us that the doctors were in theatre delivering a baby so I’d have to wait but assured me they wouldn’t be long. I got on the bed and was checked over. My blood pressure was sky high so both baby and I had to be monitored continuously. Baby was fine. I wasn’t so fine. I kept asking how long the doctors would be. Let me assure you, labour is HARD work us women deserve a hell of a lot more credit than we get for this! I was crying and panting and puffing and telling Mr LI couldn’t do it – this time I was getting close to the One Born Every Minute standards…OK I wasn’t but I could certainly sympathise with the women on it now.

I was really struggling with the pain. God it was hard work. Then I could feel my body needing to push. It was the most intense feeling I have ever known, I somehow panted, screamed and cried “Press the buzzer I need to push”. I’ve never seen my husband move so fast. A midwife came sauntering in. It wasn’t Kate, the midwife who was looking after me. I told her I felt ready to push. She checked me over then went to get Kate. They must not have communicated because when Kate arrived in my room I had to tell her I needed to push.  Kate was sure I shouldn’t be ready to push and urged me not to – not until she’d checked how dilated I was.  Don’t push?! HA! Easier said than done!

I will never in my life forget Kate’s face when she checked me over. I was indeed 10cm dilated and ready to push. She was shocked. It had happened quickly. There was no time for an epidural or any other pain relief. I was given gas and air and was allowed to use it for 5 mins but then I was told I couldn’t use it because it was making me too sleepy to push. Friggin’ great stuff. It felt like torture. To be fair though, I only just had the energy to push never mind suck on a pipe full of laughing gas. And I was in no mood for laughing.

Monday 30th May (early hours):
I remembered when I was at the birth of my nephew and my sister, Ellie was pushing for 20 minutes before baby was here. I could cope with 20 minutes I thought…JUST. I began to watch the clock while I was pushing. Kate was offering words of encouragement. “Come one”…”Another push”…”Keep going”…”You’re doing great”…are just a few. Every time I had a contraction, Mr L grabbed my hand and I squeezed hard. I’m surprised I didn’t shout any abuse at him. You know, something along the lines of “You b*****d! This is your fault! Keep your f*****g penis away from me from now on! I hate you.” Not only did I not have the energy to shout abuse at him, I didn’t have the urge to. Yes it was agony but I was happy, although I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time.

Pushing laid on my back wasn’t working. Time to try a new position. I was directed by Kate to kneel up with my arms over the head of the bed sort of on all fours if you like. This just wasn’t pretty although it was much more comfortable. Baby was laid back to back so laying on MY back would put more pressure on it and it would hurt more. I pushed and pushed as much as my body would let me. I had been pushing for over an hour. The midwife called the doctor and they told me it was time to intervene. My blood pressure was still high and they didn’t want baby to get into distress or me get too exhausted to continue. They were going to use the suction cup.

I had read about ventouse (suction cup/kiwi) deliveries in magazines, on blogs and in forums. No one had a pleasant thing to say about them. Everyone had, had a bad experience. Needless to say I was terrified. There were now two doctors and two midwifes. My legs were put into stirrups – this was painfully painful and painfully undignified but I didn’t care. I was given the gas and air whilst the doctor cut me *down there* (it’s called an episiotomy) but it was soon taken off of me once I had been cut and injected with anaesthetic. None of this made a blind bit of difference to the pain I was in. I was now telling the doctors, midwifes and Mr L that I REALLY couldn’t do this. The suction cup was inserted and I was surprised and pleased that it didn’t hurt. It probably would under normal circumstances but the contractions were controlling me completely.

The doctor explained the suction was attached to my baby’s head and I had to do all the work but when I pushed they would pull. They also explained my baby’s head could come out slightly misshapen from the suction. I already knew this. I’d been reading about labour and birth for weeks and I covered all circumstances. So the pushing commenced again. “Push push push push” and “Come one, one more” and “1…2….3…” was all I heard. I was saying I couldn’t do it. They were all saying I could. I gathered all my energy. I wanted to meet my baby. I wanted to cuddle and kiss him and tell him how much I loved him. I pushed like they told me to, on cue and everything. Eventually, I heard “we have a head,” and I was relieved. Then I was told to hang on and not to push until directed because the cord was around my baby’s neck. You can imagine the things that went through my mind – you hear horror stories about these things. My heart sank and I was about to cry when the doctor told me not to worry baby was now untangled and I could push with the next contraction. Relieved was not the half of it.

I pushed and pushed then POP! SPLASH! And all of a sudden there was a baby on my chest. My boy was here! The doctor said no wonder I was struggling to get him out, there was MORE water blocking him from coming out. The water came out with my baby and drenched the doctor. I was slightly pleased at this after all, I was made to do all the work without pain relief. My baby didn’t cry but he was awake and alert and appeared healthy. Mr L and I had discussed this moment from when we found out I was pregnant and we both agreed we wanted baby cleaning completely before he was handed to me because I’m quite squeamish. All that went out of the window and I didn’t even notice the blood covering my son. He looked just perfect to me. He was wrapped up and passed to Mr L, or “daddy” as the midwife called him. Wow that was strange to hear. It was even stranger when they said “…while we stitch mummy up.” OH. MY. GOD. I’m a mummy!

Alfie Paul Lewis was born at 2:37AM on Monday 30th May 2011 weighing 8lb 8oz.  He was perfect.  Three years on and I’m 5 weeks off doing the same with his baby sister!