Firstly, before I launch into my birth story, I'd like to introduce you our newest member of the Grumpinator family - Jamie Alexander Douglas McLean born on Saturday 14th September at 22.17 weighing 10lbs 8oz and measuring 58cm.
It's been three weeks since I gave birth to our second baby but it feels like yesterday.
When I had my first child (JC - the Grumpinator) it was pretty much a dream labour. I would even go as far as to say it was an enjoyable birth. I didn't really feel the need for pain relief, I managed the whole thing quite well and recovered really quickly post birth. I was shopping round the retail park 2 days later and feeling great!
This experience was not quite the same.
Funnily enough, the first birth, nothing went to plan. The planned home birth/water birth ended up in a hospital transfer with a sentocin drip and continuous monitoring. The second birth went completely to the plan! I recently wrote about my birth preferences and I pretty much got exactly what I wanted.
I was 41 weeks and 1 day overdue when my contractions started on Friday the 13th at 5pm. That very familiar pain which reoccurred every 20 mins in the beginning wasn't overly painful but noticeable. I ended up having a nice bath and watching a few episodes of breaking bad whilst my hubby snoozed on the couch. I decided to go to bed and try and get some sleep at 11.30pm. I managed to catch an hour or so but it was disrupted every 20 mins so at 1am I gave in and got up. I decided to have another bath and at this point my contractions had dropped down to every 7 mins. It was time to phone birth partner number 2 - my Mum.
She kept me company while I lay in the bath until it was stone cold. I sent my hubby back to bed for a rest as I knew it would be a long day ahead. I then had a little bounce on the birthing ball in an effort to speed things along. I was conscious that it was 7am, already one hour longer into the labour than with my first born.
How could this be? Second babies should be quicker surely???
I was 4 mins apart now so at least I was moving in the right direction.
We decided to go to hospital. It was time to get a move on!
I arrived at hospital at 8am and the next 8 hours were largely uneventful. I stayed at 4 mins and nothing was happening. One thing that was happening was that I was flagging. I was so exhausted that by 4pm I had a mini meltdown. The midwife caring for me offered to let me go in the pool and it was like she'd just offered me a winning lottery ticket.
Once I got in the pool I was able to relax a bit. My waters still hadn't gone and they were talking about breaking them in a few hours if things hadn't happened naturally by then.
8pm - I'm losing the will to live. Come on baby, get out of there! Hubby suggested that I listen to my hypnotherapy CD to try and relax. 20 minutes into the hypnosis, I was in 'the zone' and all I heard was 'POP'.
"! Waters!" I cried, partly in relief but also in agony. Up until this point I had only had paracetamol but the pain once my waters had gone was unreal. I asked for gas and air which was much needed to get me through the next 2 hours of pushing. I remember the transition phase and feeling like I couldn't go on. The water was easing a lot of the pain which I was feeling and the gas was helping me through the contraction surges. I think a few sweary words might have slipped out and I remember thinking that I wish the hypnotherapy voice playing in the background would shut the hell up! Easy for her to say 'breathe your baby down' she's not the one squeezing out a 10.8lber!
After a gruelling 29 hours of labouring (2 of which were really hard graft) I birthed him into the water at 22.17. My mum and hubby were both witness to this momentous occasion. I lifted him out of the water and he was silent. It took him a few moments to cry out and they were the longest moments of my life. I was surprised to see that he was really blonde and didn't really look like JC. He let out a little whimper then a cry. I held him close and said 'I had to work hard to bring you into the world and you kept me waiting!'
We let the cord stop pulsating then hubby cut it. I got a kiss from him for my efforts before he took Jamie to get dried and to give him a cuddle. I had a natural 3rd stage which all went fine and then I got out from the pool. Once in bed, I gave him his first feed and he was a natural. He fed for a good 40 minutes and seemed settled afterwards. We then got him weighed. The midwife had to weigh him twice as she thought she had made a mistake with the scales. 10lbs 8oz. Holy shit! I can't believe I did that naturally!
I was still bleeding quite heavily and the afterpains were agony. I had a little sleep for an hour and a bit toast (why does hospital toast always taste amazing?). I decided to go for a shower. This is really where things start to go quite wrong.
I didn't feel right in the shower. I was finding it hard to breathe and was a little dizzy. I held onto the bar as I showered. The next thing I remember is waking up with the midwives all around me, picking me up from the floor and praising me for pulling the emergency cord. I've no recollection of doing that and I wasn't quite sure how I had ended up on the floor but I was flat on my back and I had hit my head off the toilet on the way down. I felt like I'd been hit by a bus. As they pulled me up from the floor I looked down at the shower room floor to see that I was surrounded by a massive amount of blood. I was having a post partum haemorrhage. They quickly gave me an injection of sentometrine to control the bleeding. I was put in a wheel chair and taken back to bed. I was a bit concussed and I had hurt myself quite badly when I'd fallen.
To cut a long story shorter, I stayed in hospital another night as I wasn't quite ready to go home. I still felt out of sorts, short of breath and dizzy. I was still bleeding heavily and this lasted for 14 days after the birth. I was really worried that I was going to have another haemorrhage. As stupid as it sounds, I was scared to go to sleep in case I didn't wake up. I'm anaemic anyway and my blood count was low when I left hospital, to continue to bleed could not be a good thing for me and I was well aware of this. I've had two infections since the birth, one in the womb and one in the breast. It hasn't been a easy time. I expected to recover quickly like I did with JC but it's been 3 weeks and I am only just starting to feel like myself again. I feel quite traumatised by the shower incident and I feel panic every time I go in the shower. It's going to take time for me to feel ok again I guess.
On the plus side, I have a beautiful baby boy who was worth every moment of agony and worry. I am a very lucky lady to have 2 healthy and happy boys to lavish love on. I feel positive about being a mum this time round and I pledge not to take myself too seriously. I am looking forward to the new chapter in my life and I am looking forward to sharing it with you.