Last week I told you all about the induction part of Tayo’s labour and the events leading up to it. Today I talk pushing, gushing and everything in between. You might need a cuppa ready for this one.
So, as I was saying. My Mom called from America. She was on holiday at Disney Land so Mickey and Minnie were keeping her busy but she called whenever she could to check in. I’d had my tablets a few hours before and felt a few minor contractions. It was about 11pm. We were having a good chin wag and I was updating her on the events of the day and then I had a contraction, much more obvious than the previous ones. I said goodbye to my Mom and went for a pee.
I struggled to get back up off the loo. Wowzer. Everything came flooding back to me from Leo’s birth, which is a story I have yet to tell and it’s very different to this one. But the pain of contractions was the same. Woah.
And that was the start of it all. That first big contraction was at about 11:30. I’d really not thought about my labour as daft as that sounds so I just sort of went with it. I wanted to stay active, I didn’t want to lie down, I wanted to be on my feet. So the edge of the bed seemed like a good place to lean. After a few more contractions and some more gas and air I started to be sick. Wonderful. And I can remember that there was just water. Water everywhere. How could there be even more water? I thought I was supposed to have been losing it for the last 6 weeks? Turns out it was my back waters that had ruptured all along. Who even knew there were two waters?!
So I’m leaning over the bed and in comes my midwife. ‘Oh!’ I heard her say. And then boom… massive contraction. She promptly took my knickers off… I’d not even thought about that necessity. And she asked me ‘is it in your bum?’
Erm… sorry, is what in my bum?!
She was trying to ascertain where the pressure was. Quite frankly, it was bloody everywhere. I thought my head, lady parts and well yes, my bum could all explode at any given moment. I remember her saying, just go for it. Push. There was no examination, no-one coaching me to do all that panting breathing you see in the movies, just a midwife on her knees between my legs trying desperately to stay afloat (literally) whilst I slipped around in my waters being held up by my (thankfully) incredibly strong husband. Who by the way deserves major props. He really kept me going and I know I must’ve been killing him the way I was pulling on him.
I think I was just in a bit of a state of shock with the speed of which everything was happening and I remember thinking nope, absolutely not, this can not happen. So I shut my legs. This short conversation followed that decision…
‘Rebecca, you need to open your legs if you’re going to have this baby’. ‘But I just caaaannnnn’tttt’, ‘You can! Stop shouting and get your legs open!’. Oh, I was being quite shouty wasn’t I… Maybe a bit like one of those mums you watch on One Born and you think ‘oh love give it a rest’.
So I took a deep breath and checked myself back into the situation and I started to push. About 12 times or so. And then there he was. Being caught in my midwife’s arms. He arrived at 00:52 on the Saturday morning, less than an hour and a half after my first real contraction.
He was swept away to a table I couldn’t see – I couldn’t move and was waiting for my placenta to be delivered. I couldn’t hear anything either. There seemed to be a ringing in my ears. Where was he, what was going on, was he breathing? Where’s this bloody placenta? And then Anthony appeared around the opposite side of the bed with a bundle of sheets and a tiny face poking through.
And then they were gone.
Tayo had to be taken to the NICU because he was grunting which is a sign of baby maybe needing additional oxygen support or maybe infection, or maybe a multitude of things. Either way it was something I was prepared for because the staff had told us all along that there was a high chance he would need some assistance to start with. That is a whole other post in itself. I shouted to Anthony to stay with him and not leave his side for one second. If I couldn’t be with him I needed to know his Daddy was there by his side every step of the way.
So there’s me and my midwife and my no show of a placenta. Where the heck was it? My midwife asked me to get up onto the bed which is no mean feet when you’ve got a clamp hanging from your fufu let me tell you. She had a good look and gave it a couple of tugs and nothing happened and thankfully, it wasn’t at all painful… perhaps I was numb from having just pushed a whole head out of my body. I mean – as if we are capable of doing that?!
So off the lovely and somewhat soaked and disheveled midwife goes to return with, you guessed it, pretty eye doctor. This time with no mask. Turns out her whole face was pretty. Anyway, she examined me and then they came, the eyes. She got me again, dead on and said ‘Becky, your placenta is stuck. I believe it has fused to your uterus. If I pull it anymore and it ruptures, you will lose a lot of blood and that could be fatal.’
She then explained that I would immediately need to go to theatre to have it removed. In a blur of forms I signed away my uterus in case they couldn’t detach the placenta and I had to have a hysterectomy. I was prepped for a spinal. After giving birth naturally I then had to be partially paralyzed for the procedure to take place. Great. I couldn’t believe it.
So off to theatre I went. No idea what was happening with my baby but I knew Anthony was there and so I had to just hold on to that and have faith that he would be ok and they could give him whatever medical attention it was that he needed.
Just over two hours later I was in the recovery ward. Shaking from my spinal and in a bit of a daze. It had now been just over 3 hours since I delivered. Where was my baby? I managed to stop shaking enough to actually talk and I asked the midwife to riffle through my bag and find my phone. I couldn’t visit the NICU until I was able to sit in a wheelchair… For obvious reasons they can’t be wheeling big hospital beds around the unit. I managed to call Anthony; could he tell me how heavy he was? What time was he born? Whats happening? Can he breathe? and I got him to send me a photo. My little baby. Sleeping on his tummy, wires and all. But I was SO happy to see his beautiful face.
An hour and a half later I was in the wheel chair on my way round to see him.
I thought I’d cry. For a multitude of reasons really. He was our rainbow baby who I wanted so badly. It had been a stressful 6 weeks but he was finally here and safe. He looked tiny with all his wires and tubes. But I didn’t cry. I just looked. And looked and looked. I was so in love, there was no need for all the tears.
Three days later he was out of NICU and onto the transitional care ward which was tough. I was feeling quite poorly and so I got my own room which was a God send but it didn’t help my poorly feeling. The day after he came out of NICU I started with a headache. I used to suffer from migraines so I’m fairly familiar with a bad head but this was something else. To the point where I couldn’t care for Tayo and when Anthony couldn’t be present the midwives had to play Mum for me. It was heartbreaking. After a few assessments and the prescription of a few extremely strong Painkillers things were still no better. But there was nothing apparently ‘wrong’ with me. I knew exactly what I needed. And that was to be out of the hospital. After two solid weeks of being in there I had had enough. No amount of walks around the car park were going to cure me. But we couldn’t leave because Tayo was still jaundiced. My head aches continued. But on day 5 at around 9:30pm, we were discharged.
I walked through my front door with my three boys in tow and my head instantly cleared. We made it.
What happened to Tayo once he arrived is still a little bit unclear. Anthony told me everything he could and I asked questions but being in a daze you don’t always remember everything. My Health Visitor told me that at any point if I wanted to go back to the hospital, a midwife would get out all my records and walk me through everything that happened step by step. And that I can do that at any point wether that’s today, tomorrow or in a year. I just wanted to briefly mention that in case any of you find yourselves a bit forgetful or unclear as to what happened during and after your labours, especially if it was traumatic. Apparently going through everything can be really helpful.