Labour – It’s not like the movies! #01 Featuring Han Plans

labour

Kick starting my new series is the lovely Hannah from Han Plans.  Her blog is a wonderful glimpse into family life as a parent to both a baby and a teenage foster son. I particularly enjoy reading her currently post’s. It’s good to know it isn’t just me that’s fallen behind with Pretty Little Liars! She has kindly volunteered to share her birth story, so over to you Hannah…

Hi I’m Hannah and this is how Chris (my hubby) and I welcomed our baby boy, Jaxon into the world. He’s now 2 and a bit, cheeky full of energy little monkey who fills my world with sunshine. We are also foster carers to a 17yo known as Our Sidekick. I blog about knitting, crocheting, planning, journaling, being a foster carer and run my own company called Daisy Media

You know you get some people who have those sickening perfect pregnancies well up to a certain point that was me. 

No morning sickness, nausea only when I’d had no breakfast or delayed lunch too long and hardly put on any weigh (in the end I had put on around 20Lbs but I lost near enough all that in baby weight and water etc). 

So why am I here sharing my story I hear you say…? 

Well in the middle there two panicked visits to hospital and then the big whammy of C Section due to Breech position. Well come back to that and cover the two visits first. 

At the time that I was pregnant, Chris’s hours at work meant that he had a Friday and Sunday off but had to work a Saturday. We decided this one particular Friday to go out for lunch and went to one of the restaurants within walking distance of our house. As it was a reasonably sunny day we decided to walk there. No problem. Part way through dinner I started to feel funny. I’d got flashing lights across my eyes a bit like a migraine but I wasn’t in pain and was beginning to get tunnel vision in a way.  Everything was blurry in my peripheral vision apart from this tiny spot in the middle. I could see Chris was talking to me, I could hear that he was talking to me but somewhere in the middle it was getting all “discombobulated”. 

I calmly said to him that I didn’t want him to panic but something wasn’t right and we needed to get checked out. I wasn’t sure I could safely cross the main road so I waited outside the restaurant on their patio area. Chris dashed back inside to tell the manager that I was there and he’d be back in a few minutes could they keep an eye on me. Well the manager decided best option – come and sit outside with me and wait. He was also joined by another member of staff (or could have been a worried customer even now I’m still not sure). 

Chris appeared a few minutes later and we headed to the day unit at our local hospital. 

I got there and they got me to have a big drink of water to make Baby fidget a bit. That was all fine they could see on the monitors that baby was wiggling about and heart going like the clappers. Pretty sure they sent me off to the loo for a urine sample in case it was Pre-Eclampsia but given I didn’t have the symptoms other than the flashing lights they weren’t convinced it was that. In the end it turned out I was dehydrated and that had caused what is called Vasovagal Syncope. It’s the same thing that can make you feel faint and lightheaded. Within a couple of hours I was discharged and was home for tea. 

The second one was still serious but I guess on the scale was more serious of the two. I’d been sat at home and wasn’t convinced that baby was moving. I phoned the day unit to see if there was anything I could try at home. Yep – big class of something cold also try walking around the room then sitting down again. Nope neither were doing anything. Chris and I jumped in the car again and headed for the day unit. 

Arrived at day unit and i sit on a bed, they get the donut doodahs out and attach them to my tummy. At this point I actually have my own set of straps that I keep in my folder with my green book just in case. Within seconds, baby is doing Riverdance around my uterus and all is well we can be discharged. I had to stay on the monitor for like half an hour just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke but baby didn’t stay put for that whole time so we were cleared to go home again. 

Now to the big one…

It would later become clear why my labour had started so early and why things weren’t happening in the way it was on TV or in the books. But early labour started and stopped for five days. By medical terms you’re not actually in active labour until you’re 2-3cm dilated – which means that although it sounds like I had a really long labour, it actually only probably started around Tuesday morning or possibly even sometime Wednesday. (So if you’re an expectant Momma or trying don’t panic!!)

Day 1: Saturday (40+5. Jaxon is 5 days overdue and it was another 5 days before he eventually decided to show up) 

Chris, Our Sidekick and I had decided that we’d go out for tea together seeing as it was likely to be the last weekend with just the three of us. We got food from a well known fast food chain and went to see in the local country park. Having eaten the boys had a go on the zip line and some other bits of climbing equipment that are normally inundated with kids. 

I had started to get an awkward backache but didn’t really think about it properly. Yes it was a little achy but baby was probably just wiggling about and kicked something he shouldn’t have. 

I went home and got in the bath to see if that would help at all. It turned out I was having contractions but they weren’t getting any closer together. In the end I had contractions every 5-6 minutes throughout the night. 

Day 2: Sunday (40+6. 4 days to go)

At 4.20am I decided. This was it. They weren’t getting closer together so could I do anything to encourage the contractions along a bit. 

“Nope just keep waiting your body will know what to do”

I saw the sunrise on the Sunday morning which for the beginning of July is around 4.30/5am. It’s pretty but I needed to sleep. I decided around 8am that I’d had enough. I was getting dressed and going to a walk. I walked to the local supermarket to buy milk. I know 8am on a Sunday. What a bright spark. Thankfully it wasn’t a wasted journey as the petrol station was already open. 

I spent the day eating and sleeping pretty much. Then pacing again when the contractions started again around 4pm. We waited and waited and around 11pm we thought we were getting somewhere. My Mum and Dad had arrived to look after Our Sidekick and we were ready. Bags packed and ready. 

Baby wasn’t. 

Mum and I went for a walk round the block to try and encourage something to happen. All this did was make the contractions slow down again and eventually stop. False alarm. Grandparents stand down. 

Day 3: Monday (40+7)

By Monday evening, my tether was getting shorter – I like to think I’m pretty chilled but I was getting worked up. It wasn’t just the sleep I was missing but the aching muscles too. Everything hurt and I just felt rubbish. Not physically sick but sore. The best way I can describe it is when you’ve been out in the garden and get up the following morning and discover just how many muscles there are in your back!

The contractions started up again around 2pm so by 7pm I’d taken all the paracetamol I was allowed and had two baths. I broke down in tears and we decided to call delivery. Even if they couldn’t take me in we hoped they could at least give me something to try whether that was stronger pain meds or some other form of self treatment. Mum and Dad arrived around 11pm to look after Our Sidekick and we all got settled in to the idea they I might not be home that night.

There was a delay to be seen as I picked the busiest night. I was hooked up to the blood pressure cuff and then the baby monitor. The midwife examined me, the result was – baby isn’t coming now, you’re 1cm dilated.

The midwife was able to prescribe me co codamol and I was sent home again. It was a little disheartening but the wonder of co-codamol was that it made me sleep like a log and by the morning I had a new “lease of life” to carry on with what was going on.

We got home, played musical chairs/beds and that was Monday.

I slept on and off through the night but it was blocks of sleep rather than dozing in and out like Saturday night.

Day 4: Tuesday (41 weeks)

Dosed up on co codamol, I got dressed and walked to mum’s house. I was getting a bit stir crazy and figured that rather than pacing the living room I’d walk to Mum’s and then walk back. She was working from home so I’m sure if I’d have felt like I couldn’t manage the walk she’d have ran me round in the car and if I’d been heading towards labour she’d have taken me to the hospital. I had a couple of odd twinges but nothing that was going to send a baby out.

In comparison Tuesday was the calm before the storm.

Day 5: Wednesday (41+1 – Midwife appointment about 3pm)

By Wednesday morning I was feeling sore as my muscles had now been contracting on and off for four days. I sat in front of the computer and commented on blogs, played on Facebook and bits and pieces to try and keep my mind off things.

The contractions started again around 10am so every time one came I’d get off the computer chair and potter round the living room. When it was finished I’d sit down again. By lunchtime, the contractions had moved and rather than just being in my back or like a bad cramp I could feel it in my hips too. They were more painful than they had been over the last few days.

I had an appointment to see the midwife at about 3pm so I kept track of my contractions and by the time I went to my appointment they were around 6 minutes apart, again still too far apart to go to delivery but at least if I saw her she might be able to give me an update. She had a feel of my tummy and thought that baby might be back to back as various markers she was looking for weren’t in the right places. She had a listen to baby’s heart (when she found it) and that was fine so she didn’t have any concerns. She explained about not booking my induction yet as I was dilated and she thought that baby could come soon. She explained what to do anyway so if baby hadn’t arrived by 41w5d then I’d be induced.

Following my appointment Chris and I went to get lunch. Technically it was almost afternoon tea but actually in hindsight it was a good idea.

By 7pm I was on a lot of pain and my hips were really hurting, to the extent that I spend most of the 2-3 hours we were home standing up because I couldn’t get up from sitting but also struggled to then sit down from standing. Chris was amazing and spent the couple of hours rubbing my back and getting me drinks and things like that.

While I was on the phone to delivery Chris told Our Sidekick to get his stuff ready as he was going to go and stay with my parents overnight and would go to school from their house in the morning. I got a contraction while I was on the phone and kept apologising to the midwife because I couldn’t answer her questions, I think Chris might have had a sore shoulder because I’d gone from resting my head against his arm to almost head butting his arm.

She thought I was in active labour and I should head to the hospital. That was easier said that done, I managed to fold myself into the passenger seat of the car but every bump in the road magnified contractions and was making me feel really ill.

When we got to the hospital, Chris dropped me off at the maternity wing and went to park the car. By the time I was on the ward and waiting to be seen my contractions had started to slow down so I was worried they were going to send me home again. I had a lovely student midwife called Carla and a midwife called Helen. They both checked me out and were concerned about a few factors so Helen did some extra exams and went to speak to the doctor.

Chris arrived and was sat in the parents room next door. He was texting me through the wall and heard that I was 4cm dilated and could hear the midwife and doctor discussing about doing a scan. He texted to ask if he could come in so I asked Carla to go get him so he didn’t miss it.

The doctor arrived and did the ultrasound. Although Jaxon had been the right up for a normal delivery for most of the last few weeks at some point he’d turned and so he was presenting as a breech – I think the spot on my tummy that I thought was his bottom actually turned out to be his head!

After chatting to the doctor and offered various choices it was decided that he was going to be delivered by elective C Section. We were going to meet Jaxon before bedtime and I wasn’t being sent home. How exciting!!

At this point most people would freak out, I thought I would have freaked out but I was actually really calm. Chris and I had a discussion and I explained where I thought I stood on it. He then called my Mum and had a chat with her while Carla did some extra tests on me. He then handed me the phone and I chatted to mum (again this would be a freak out moment and it wasn’t). I’m sure either way she would had respected my choice but something about knowing my mum was on my side made me feel reassured that I was making the better/right decision.

Over the next two hours we chatted to various people including the surgeon and were asked lots of questions about injections (Vitamin K) and did we know if you were a girl or a boy and did you have a name. The surgeon went through the risks and possible complications like if it was bad I might have to have a hysterectomy and because of the spinal injection there was a tiny risk of temporary or permanent paralysis and things like that. (Again no freaking out here).

We were moved from triage to another room then we got ready to go to surgery. I had to put on a gown Carla helped me get out of my clothes and into my gown. (By the end of the three days we were in hospital, any kind of dignity had gone lol).

I met various other people and was asked lots of questions but they also talked me through what was going to happen. Laura the midwife came to check me over before we went to surgery and told me that Chris could go put on scrubs and come in with me. She stayed with me nearly the whole time or was in the room. Rosie the anaesthetist’s assistant was super friendly and kept me calm especially when the anaesthetist was putting the local injection in my back followed by the spinal injection to make my legs go numb. Her and Chris kept me talking and both held my hands while the injections were going in. I was doing okay but one made me jump and whimper.

Chris was armed with his phone and snapped lots of pictures. We were wheeled into recovery and Jaxon, Chris and I got to hang out and get to know each other. Laura looked after us and helped me to start feeding Jaxon. It was a sort of strange sensation at first but then it was completely normal and natural (so why the hooha about feeding in public??)

Labour

We spent the next two days ish in hospital. On Thursday after school, my Mum and Dad brought Our Sidekick to meet Jaxon. He was so excited, he brought Jaxon a teddy and some other goodies.

On Friday morning I was seen by various different people who checked me and Jaxon over and got us ready to go home. We got the all clear to go home at 3pm but had to wait to seen by one other person – at 7pm we were still waiting for that person to sign us off properly. I think she was rushed off her feet so I was trying to be understanding but I wanted to put my pjams back on, I wanted to curl up in my own bed and wanted to take Jaxon home and get him settled.

Thank you once again to Hannah for sharing her story. You can find Hannah here:
Blog – hanplans.co.uk 
Twitter – twitter.com/hanplans
Facebook – facebook.com/hanplans

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