My Birth Story – Baby Benjamin Octavius James Longden

So if you read my latest Monday Musings post you will have seen me pre-empt going overdue… Ever one to be proven wrong, later that morning I had to go in for an emergency scan after reduced movements over the weekend and when the scan showed that the baby appeared to have stopped growing, I was booked in for an induction the next morning, on my due date. 

It was all a bit of a shock after thinking baby would keep me waiting for days. Suddenly we only had hours to wait until our latest addition came along. I was also a little fearful that something might be wrong with the baby as his growth had slowed down. 

Luckily time went quickly (I spent it mainly buying snacks for labour, clothes for leaving the hospital in and retyping my birth plan which had been for a home birth). My mum looked after Cameron and Carly that night for us and we settled down to try and get some sleep, although I was up so many times in the night with worry and excitement. 
We had been advised to call up at 7am to get an induction time. I was sure it would be the afternoon but fortunately when I rang up we got the time of 9am so soon after we set off for the maternity hospital. Things were fairly slow to get going as I wasn’t examined until 10am (I was only 1/2cm dilated at this point). The pessary which would hopefully induce labour, was finally inserted at 11am, by which point my mum had joined us at the hospital after taking Cameron to school and leaving Carly with my friend Sealy who had kindly offered to look after the kids for us so that my mum could be there for the birth. 

We settled down with snacks and watched Friends on my laptop (the only part of my original birth plan I got to have). I also had my hospital lunch which was pretty horrible. 

I started feeling some contractions during this time but as I had had so many false starts I didn’t quite believe anything was happening. My mum and Ed kept asking how long there was between them though and when I timed them on an app on my phone, they did seem to be getting closer together (every few minutes) and lasting around 30-45 seconds. 

We went for a couple of small walks down to the petrol station and then settled back down to watch Friends. My sister came along around 3.45pm and by this point my contractions had worsened and were harder to bear. 

At around 4pm Ed and my mum insisted I get some pain relief as I hadn’t even had paracetamol. I was examined and was 2cm. I was given codeine and paracetamol and hooked up to the monitor to see if baby was ok and how my contractions were progressing. They were considering giving me pethidine, at my request, but had to check the contractions weren’t too close together due to the pessary. If they were, and baby was in distress, they may have needed to take the pessary out to slow things down. 

By this point the contractions were very painful and I was struggling through each one. I was still on the ward so there were other women around me hearing each contraction. I was very aware how much noise I was making and hated being on the ward for this stage of things. 

When my dinner came round at 6pm I couldn’t face eating and the midwife said she thought this was a sign something was definitely happening. She examined me again and I was at 4cm. As in both previous labours I have gone from 5cm to 10cm quickly, she wanted me to get over to delivery but they had to find a bed first as they were very busy. 

This took around half an hour, by which point the contractions had me writhing around on the bed in pain and making quite a bit of noise. I was also hurting Ed’s hand with each one. 

Eventually a midwife came from delivery for me with a wheelchair to transport me. I had a big contraction getting into the chair and another couple on the way to the delivery suite, which were agony. When we got to my new room, I wanted to be active but was told I needed to be monitored again. 

So yet again I was strapped up to the monitor and made to stay on the bed, exactly what I wanted to avoid doing. At least I was finally given my beloved gas and air, although this didn’t help as much as I thought it would and I didn’t like it as much as it was something I had to hold onto. 

Contractions were so painful and I felt that if my waters were broken I would progress. Luckily they agreed and at 7pm they were broken, at which point I was still 4cm. 

Things really ramped up after my waters went and everything became even more painful. The gas and air didn’t seem to be doing anything for the pain. I was begging for pethidine or to push. 

Everything seemed to be taking ages even though now I can see it was all going really fast. I wanted to be stood up and I felt so much pressure. Meanwhile the midwife was very concerned about the baby as his heart rate decelerated with each contraction (and had been doing this since before I left the ward). She said they needed to put a clip on his head so started preparing to do this. 

I told her I needed to stand up so she let me for a few seconds, which felt so much better. But then I was back on the bed on my back for the clip to be put on. The next contraction felt like I was being ripped apart and again I had a huge pressure and urge to push. I told the midwife and she said she needed to attach the clip but would check how I was doing as well. To her surprise (not mine as I knew I needed to push), she found out I was fully dilated. She attached the clip at 7.30pm and on the next contraction she asked me to push into my bum. I did as I was told, pushed, then panted, then pushed, then panted and with the next push baby was delivered all at once at 7.35pm (no head then shoulders for this baby!). I didn’t even use the gas and air when pushing as I focused deep down and found the strength to get my baby out. It all happened so quickly there wasn’t even a second midwife in the room for the birth. 

He was brought straight up to my chest.  I was given the injection to speed up delivery of the placenta and Ed cut the cord then the midwife (and second midwife who then arrived) did some checks on the cord and placenta (due to their concerns with his heart rate). They checked me for tears but I only had a slight graze. Baby had been born back to back aswell, which is why I had so much pressure in my lower back and bum. 

Baby started feeding straight away and everything was all over so quickly. My sister was still waiting outside so she came in and we all took lots of photos of the baby and talked about how quickly it had all gone. I was in a bit of shock. The midwife offered tea and toast and I had a couple of slices as well as eating an entire bar of chocolate (Green and Blacks Butterscotch if you’re interested). Baby was finally weighed and was only a tiny 6lb4oz – smaller than both my previous children. 

It was at this point that the midwife said that I would have to stay in for 48 hours as I had been on antidepressants during my pregnancy. I was not happy with this as I had come off of them at 33 weeks and had been given the go ahead for a home birth (with no mention of needing monitoring at the hospital) at 36 weeks.  

I asked for an appeal and the midwife went off to talk to the doctors about it. It ruined the moment as I was getting ready for a fight. Ed went to pick up Cameron from Sealy’s house (Carly stayed there as she was already asleep) and brought him in to meet his baby brother. 

Eventually my midwife came back along with another midwife who was taking over the shift. My midwife said goodbye and the new midwife said I could self discharge if I wanted to but that the doctors would come down and scare me about the risks to the baby. She said I would have had to come in even if I had of birthed at home, when I said I wasn’t told this she said I should have been and that it was all over my notes (it wasn’t). She was so nasty about it and made me feel I was being irresponsible by not wanting to be there. I said I would self discharge so she went to speak to the doctors again. The baby’s temperature was a little  low so we had to wait for an hour anyway to see if it would go up. I was so tired by this point and just wanted to go home and rest. 

Eventually I was told I could self discharge and that the doctors were too busy to see me so the midwife would just go through the risks with me. I had a shower and got dressed and ready to go home. The midwife came to tell me the risks and then said baby’s temperature was still fairly low so we had to wait another hour. My mum and sister and Cameron went home. Baby’s temperature finally went up and we were allowed to leave at 12.30am, 5 hours after baby was born. I was beyond shattered by this point. 

We got our precious cargo home and I didn’t sleep more than thirty minutes that night as I was too scared something might happen to our tiny bundle. 

So yes, that’s the story of how our beautiful Benjamin Octavius James Longden came into the world. It may not have been anything like I planned, but it doesn’t matter as it got him to us. 

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