One epidural and some forceps later…

This week to celebrate the approach of Mother's Day, we're talking about that moment when our children come into the world. Everyone's birth experience is different but reading others' stories can give you some idea of what to expect. Here, TalkMum blogger Cath tells us about the birth of her eldest child...

I was 5 days overdue when I went for a routine hospital appointment. The nurses checked my blood pressure and found it was very high - so I needed to be admitted immediately! This threw me into a panic as I had gone to the appointment on my own and certainly wasn’t expecting to stay in hospital. I really wanted my husband to be there so I asked if I could go home, get my hospital bag and get my husband to bring me back. They said as long as I was back in an hour then that would be OK. I dread to think how much further my blood pressure increased whilst we were arranging all this!

After a frantic phone call to my husband (who fortunately only works 20 minutes from home), we were back at the hospital an hour later.

For the rest of the afternoon I was connected up to a blood pressure monitor and was monitored every 30 minutes. By the evening, the doctor decided to induce me. However, when I was examined the doctor discovered I was already 3cm dilated - so they left me to see how my labour progressed.

The following morning my husband arrived at 8am as I was due to be taken to the delivery suite first thing but after a couple of other emergencies we made it there by lunchtime. I was examined again by the midwife who decided that she would break my waters to start my labour - a rather uncomfortable but not painful experience. I was also hooked up to a hormone drip to help speed things along.

My labour progressed well - I spent a lot of time pacing the room and rocking backwards and forwards on a rocking chair. The rocking chair really helped me manage the contractions and is not something I would have thought of using – but it worked! I started using just gas and air however the contractions started to become very painful and the midwife suggested an epidural which I agreed to. It was such a relief to escape from the pain - I could still watch my contractions on the monitor but I wasn’t in pain anymore.

At 10pm I was fully dilated and listened to the midwife as she told me what to do. The epidural was wearing off but she advised not to top it up so that my labour could progress and I would know when to push.

By this stage, I was very tired and it felt like it was lasting forever! Meconium was spotted and the midwife became concerned - if the baby breathes it in during the birth, it can be harmful. They decided that it would be best to try the ventouse (a kind of vacuum device) to try and get him out quickly. As you can imagine, it was quite scary having all these people around me, but I was also confident that they knew what they were doing and I just had to trust them.

The nurses tried twice with the ventouse but it didn’t work, so they said it would be best to try a forceps delivery. This meant they needed to cut me to make room for the forceps which wasn't pleasant, but as I'd had the epidural I didn't feel anything. The process was carried out quickly and then at 12.20am my 9lb 4oz son was delivered! Whilst I was sore and exhausted, my son was absolutely perfect and made it all worth it!

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