Everyone has their story. And so here’s mine.
I was late. I was induced. I was an emergency. That’s only the short story, now let’s get deep. 40 weeks pregnant I was ready to throw in the towel, I had just about enough of the heartburn, the constant back pain and the infamous fat ankles. By this point you can guess I had tried every trick in the book to naturally induce labour, you name it, I had done it. I remember being sat in the waiting room of the hospital thinking of all the things I wanted to say, but when I got in the room I was silent. I wanted to tell them to induce me that minute, I wasn’t leaving until they did something but I just couldn’t get my words out. They ended up booking me in for an induction the following week, I mean I had a date I should have been happy with that. Wrong. I was livid, I walked out cursing myself for not standing my ground. That week was truly the longest in the history of overdue pregnancy weeks, slight exaggeration I know but it sure felt that way. The night before induction date came along and I went to bed feeling hopeful and completely overwhelmed with nerves. At 3am I woke with contractions, we made our way to the hospital but to our dismay when we arrived I was only 2cm and in early labour. They kept us in as induction was at 9am the next day, that was a long night. We were taken to the ward for induction, I was given a pessary and told to “let things take their course and relax”, who seriously thinks that is an option in labour? When the pessary didn’t work I was put on a hormone drip and checked every 4 hours to see if I had dilated any more. As time went on and the contractions got stronger, I couldn’t go on. I had said over and over I don’t want an epidural but in that moment, I wanted nothing more. I had every pain relief I was offered but after 4 days of pain who can blame me?
On the fourth day of labour I was only 7cm and to make matters worse I had developed a kidney infection from the hormone drip, meaning my body was getting weaker by the minute. It was time for theatre. I lay there listening to the sound of clanging utensils and whispers between mouths. What feels like a lifetime is really only an hour and it’s now all over. Unfortunately it’s not all smiles here, our little girl hasn’t took her first breath and suddenly there’s sirens, emergency lights and people rushing into theatre around us. “It’s nothing to worry about, we just need to help her breathe, everything is fine”, of course everything was not fine but what do you tell new parents when their child isn’t ok? They helped her with oxygen and monitored her for what felt like the longest 20 minutes of my life. Then rushed her straight into Special Care Unit. Unable to walk, feel any part of my body or even string a proper sentence together, I was wheeled to the recovery room. I was given so many forms of pain relief and antibiotics over the course of the labour that by this point I was completely out of my own head. I was exhausted and I couldn’t think of anything but sleeping, does that make me a bad mother? I wasn’t concerned that my baby was in intensive care and I wasn’t there with her, that I didn’t know if she was going to survive or if I was ever going to actually see her. I was simply not able to process everything that had happened, I needed time, rest and recovery.
Thankfully for us, our little girl is now thriving and labour is definitely in the distant past. There are those that have wonderful births but there are also many don’t experience the luck we have. The meaning behind this post is simply, every parent has their own unique story to tell and each and every one of them matters.