So you’re pregnant. Wooo! What’s next? Part of the joy of being pregnant looking forward to meeting your precious baby you’ve been growing for 9 months, but how will you bring your baby into the world? Whether you opt for a natural birth at home or in water, or caesarean we all have our own idea of how we want to give birth.
Some people want a birth plan and some don’t. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to have a birth plan but if you do, your midwife can help you write this for you and you have the opportunity to ask questions and get an insight to what labour will be like.
I’ll begin by telling you my story.
I fell pregnant with my first child in 2014 and I was so excited to meet my little one. When speaking to our midwife she asked me how I wanted to give birth. It hadn’t crossed my mind but I knew straight away I wanted a water birth. Then I wanted to hold my baby, skin to skin and I wanted to breastfeed exclusively. This was going to happen, nothing can go wrong, I will bring my baby into the world in a tub of warm water and take him home shortly after. I did not consider any possible complications, I was sure this would happen smoothly and exactly how I imagined. In the middle of the night I woke up noticing my waters had broken. Fast forward a couple of hours and I’m in the hospital waiting for the pool to fill up. I had planned a water birth. It was going to happen! My ideal way of giving birth and I wanted it no other way. So I’m sitting in the pool, powering through the contractions, waiting for my baby boy to come out and meet us. 5 hours went by and I’m still pushing. Every now and then the pool would need to be filled with hot water because it was getting cold. Eventually they decided to bring me out and check the progress. He was stuck. They had to take me to the labour ward and because he still wasn’t coming and they were preparing for a caesarean section. That was really the last thing I wanted but at this point I was exhausted and needed him to come out. I signed all the papers agreeing to the C-section, my husband was dressed in purple scrubs and the doctor sat by me explaining what would happen. All while I was screaming through a painful contraction. All of a sudden my body had the urge to push and I suddenly heard “I CAN SEE THE HEAD…. THE BABY’S COMING!” And with one big push, he was out.
I was relieved he was out and glad I didn’t have to go in for the C-section.
My point is, not all birth plans go the way we want them to.
I was lucky-ish with my second delivery. I gave birth to her in the water within 10 minutes of being in there. It all went downhill from there. Hoping to go home and enjoy the company of our new baby, I was about to have a strong let down. “The bleeding won’t stop!” The midwife said to another. Doctors were called in and all were in agreement that I needed to go to theatre as I had a rupture in the womb and I was losing blood. I was scared, my husband was scared. I had to go into a room full of people ready to work on me. One lady stuck a needle in my back, another was taking my blood pressure, my legs went numb and soon I had no feeling from the waist down. I felt cold and I was shaking. I felt tired but scared to close my eyes. I was grateful for the midwife who stayed with me from the moment I walked into the hospital up until I was taken to recovery. She was comforting, reassuring, and stayed by my side to make sure I was ok throughout the procedure. I was so happy she was there as they wouldn’t let my husband in the room.
After the procedure, within a few hours the feeling in my legs started to come back. Such an uncomfortable experience! Three more days I would spend in the hospital. So this time round I gave birth the way I wanted to, but the aftermath was the most awful experience. I just wanted to leave the water, get dressed and go home with our baby.
A birth plan is definitely worth having, but be prepared for it to change. The midwives and doctors know what is best so if that baby is struggling to come out, be ready for that birth plan to change.
I am gutted I have completely forgotten my midwifes name! Such a kind woman. Thank you!