My birth plan looked something like this:
1: Natural birth with no intervention please (I would like my body to tell me what to do, and if I need advice I will ask)
2: Water birth (If the pool is available)
3: Ideally no male doctors or male intervention
4: Partner present throughout
5: No drugs only gas and air
6: Private room please once the delivery is complete
Of course the actual birth plan was a lot more detailed, but those were the salient points that meant so much to me back then.
I remember waking up at 1am in the morning feeling a little strange, I swung my legs out of bed and instantly my waters broke, nothing could prepare me for the amount of fluid my body had held for 9 months. The contractions started the moment my waters broke at an even 5 minutes apart, so I woke up my partner and let him know that baby was well and truly on the way.
By 3am I felt it was time to head on up to the hospital, unfortunately when we got there I was only 3cm dilated so they sent me home. By 5am I was back on the phone to the midwife, she assured me that being my first pregnancy that I wouldn’t be in active labour yet as it takes a lot longer. I however wanted to go back to the hospital and get checked out. After all I was contracting every 2 1/2 minutes and the pain was pretty intense.
Once back at the hospital it was confirmed that I was in active labour and I was moved to the delivery ward where a midwife was allocated to me. All was going well, I dilated fairly quickly and managed to survive on gas and air until around 4pm. At that point DS1 decided to change position and thus I was now labouring back to back. Labour itself is pretty painful but spine on spine through contractions is agony. It was at this point 15 hours after going into labour that I opted for an epidural.
Despite my original hesitations I was surprised at how easy it was for the epidural to be put in place. I was also pleased that I got to control the amount of medication that was administered, it gave me full control and allowed me to block most of the pain whist still being able to move around and feel my contractions.
Unfortunately just as I reached the pushing stage DS1 decided to move again for a final time, and managed to wedge himself into the side of my pelvis a little too well. Despite the midwifes best efforts we couldn’t move him back into position and DS1 was now in distress.
My midwife pressed the emergency button and within seconds my room was full of people. I was told they would be taking me into theatre to try vontouse and forceps, the fact we were going to attempt this in theatre was a precautionary measure in case DS1’s distress levels increased.
My partner was sent off to scrub up and given a surgical gown to wear so that he could still be with me. I had to sign various amounts of paperwork as a precaution and then I was wheeled off to theatre. The process from emergency button pressed to me arriving in theatre took all of around 2 minutes!
Once in theatre we all did our best to get DS1 to move into position so that I could give a final few pushes and get him out naturally. Hospitals are always wary of giving caesarean sections if they can avoid them, but unfortunately DS1 started to get even more distressed and we lost his heartbeat.
I was told that they needed to perform an emergency section there and then, my epidural was topped up (thank goodness I had one in place) and within seconds they were pulling DS1 from within me.
I couldn’t see what was happening as there was a screen in front of me, but I waited for a cry, I needed to hear him make some kind of noise but there was nothing. At that moment in time my whole world crashed down around me. My boy had stopped breathing and was in resuss.
There are no words to describe the torment I was going through. Thankfully for me we had a great team of doctors and a few minutes after he was taken from me I heard a *meh* not a scream, not a cry, just a small sound. It was enough to know he was fine, and he was placed in my partners arms whilst they finished stitching me up. A few minutes later I held my son for the first time and my world was once again complete.
I learned a lot from my experience, and I am truly grateful that I was in the right place at the right time. Had I birthed at home my son and myself would not be alive today.
As for birth plans…. Well I say throw them out the window right now. All that matters is that your little one and yourself come out the other end of childbirth happy and healthy. How you get there is irrelevant 🙂