A personal account of my sons forceps delivery.
|My waters broke. Well. Burst. I initially thought I’d lost the plot and wet myself, but when it kept coming, I knew what it was. While it was happening, I just stared at Patrick, and when I was sure what was going on I said. ‘Yeah, this is it.’ I went to the toilet and was surprised at how much water was falling out of me. It didn’t stop! Patrick went and got me a maternity pad, which quickly got used up! I then got into bed and we started to plan.
Mum and Dad followed us in the car to the hospital, because I wanted them close by if anything happened on the way. Patrick drove quickly and quietly and even though I’m sure it was a hellish journey for him, I was in another universe by that point. I couldn’t talk during or in between contractions and I kept clicking the wrong freaking button on the TENS machine, so I shocked myself when the contractions had stopped! Unnecessary pain.
The next thing I knew we were at the hospital and Patrick was saying, ‘There she is. There she is.’ Because my Natalie was stood at the door waiting for us. Seeing her was a form of pain relief. Obviously I didn’t run, but I felt like I ran to her and grabbed her. She hugged me and told me I was doing amazingly, and even though I felt like I was doing disastrously, I chose to believe her and that made me feel good.
We got a bit confused at the door, but then we eventually got in and met our midwife Ellie. Straight away Natalie or Patrick, or both, announced that we desperately needed an epidural please, immediately, thank you.
Ellie said she needed to do an internal examination to see if I was 4cm, and if I was then we could go ahead with the epidural. I was 5cm, so there was a feeling of ‘Thank God,’ in the room. I was mooing very loudly by this point and trying hard to utilise my breathing skills that I had been learning. The pain was getting unbearable and I mostly was trying to lift my body away from it. All the books say that you need to embrace the pain and accept that it’s happening to you. I tried my best. But on the whole, pain isn’t really my thing.
From this point on everything was even more blurry, and out-of-body-like, so my memories are hazy, and I had no real sense of time.
I was sat on the side of the bed with Natalie and Patrick holding my hands. The lovely anaesthetist explained to us the risks of the epidural. I paid little attention to this and signed away. I just wanted it. My contractions were coming thick and fast, so they gave me gas and air to help with the pain. This was a low point for me. I could feel it working, so I really went for it on that pipe. However, I’ve never been drunk before. So that feeling of being completely out of my head freaked me out. I felt like my voice was slurred and in slow motion, and I had no control over my body or what I was saying. I looked at Patrick and he was biting his bottom lip and his eyes were wide. This is the look he makes when he’s worried about something. It doesn’t happen often. So, I asked Natalie to give him a cuddle. Then the anaesthetist put the epidural in, and I couldn’t feel anything other than a cold tingling in my back.
Afterwards he said that it would take about an hour for it to kick in, so I had to keep going with the gas and air until then. Ellie said that she would expect things to be close to pushing time in about 4 hours. So, I lay back on the bed, slowed down a bit with the gas and air and looked forward to having a sleep. Patrick went off to get our things from the car, so it was just me and Natalie. While he was gone the pain had changed from being mega intense to being like my bad period pains again. So, I felt like the epidural was working and I could relax a bit.
However, after a small while the pain moved from the front to the back. There was so much pressure in my bum! I remember Mum telling me that pressure in your bum meant things were getting close. But I didn’t think I was anywhere near close. Ellie had only just left us, and she said she’d be back in four hours to give me another internal. Natalie shoved the gas and air in my mouth whenever I started shouting, ‘My bum, my bum’. When Patrick got back Natalie told him what was happening, and he said he wanted to get the midwife back. I protested because I didn’t want to bother her for the four hours she’d suggested, but while I was doing that Patrick had called her. When she came, she examined me, and I was 10cm. She said it was time to push, and I said no.
I hadn’t finished the build up yet. I wanted my four hours of epidural time. And, the epidural hadn’t even properly kicked in yet! I was 5cm about an hour ago!
Before I knew it, Patrick was holding my right arm, Natalie was holding my left and they were telling me that this was good and we were ready, and we could do this. Ellie told me to breathe and push three times during a contraction. I focussed on this and surprisingly felt relief in the pushing. It felt like I was finally tackling back at these terrible contractions and I was getting somewhere. They were going to stop because I was beating them. I don’t remember what Patrick and Natalie were saying, but at the time I was trying to do everything they were telling me.
As I was pushing the contraction pain started to fade, so I knew the epidural had kicked in. Ellie then said she couldn’t hear the baby’s heartbeat because mine was all over the place. She put a little monitor on his head, which I didn’t feel at all, but at this point I started to worry. She said he was feeling a little stressed in there, so she wanted to get the doctor. She said that we might need some help getting him out. I really didn’t want forceps, and I told her that, through my panicky tears. It was the only thing on my birth plan.
Then came Dr Chris. He had a perfectly trimmed beard and shockwaves hair and he hit me with his laidback attitude immediately. He said the best thing was for me to have a forceps delivery, and my world came crashing down. He looked at me and said, ‘Now, tell me why you don’t want a forceps delivery?’ and my mind went blank. Why didn’t I want a forceps delivery? I mean, ideally, I didn’t want a delivery. I just wanted a baby to appear with no need for excruciating pain or everlasting bodily damage. Ellie called me on it. She said, ‘You’ve been watching too much One Born, and it’s just not like that.’
Patrick went off to go and get scrubs on and before I was wheeled into the white room with the audience Ellie said to me, ‘If this was happening to me, I would want Dr Chris,’ which gave me another piece of comfort.
I started to panic when I couldn’t see Patrick, but he turned up looking like a surgeon in his scrubs. He sat down and put his face right next to mine and I just wanted to look at him. I was terrified, but Patrick made my heart calm down. Like he always does. I closed my eyes and tried a trick my Mum does when she’s scared at the dentist. I said the names of my family over and over in my mind; ‘Mum, Dad, Craig, Natalie, Ryan, Mum, Dad, Craig, Natalie, Ryan…’ Patrick said he heard me say, ‘Daddy’ which I couldn’t remember, but maybe it was when I was doing this. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe at the scariest point in my life I did want my dad. That wouldn’t surprise me.
Then it all kicked off. I still had to push, which I wasn’t expecting, but it felt good to be able to help. I didn’t feel pain or discomfort, I just felt tugging. I pushed hard. I pushed my best. And I felt the head come out. Dr Chris told me to pant, and then for the final push I wasn’t allowed to make any noise. So I went for it, and out he popped.
They put him on me for 20 seconds, but I started to panic because he wasn’t crying. Dr Chris told me to chill out #classDrChris because the cord hadn’t been cut and this was normal. They then took him off me and Patrick was asked if he wanted to cut it. The next thing I knew my baby was over in the corner with about 6 people surrounding him, with Patrick stood to the side.
When Patrick had gone they put my baby on me again, but he was so close to my face I couldn’t really see him very well. I remember, ‘It’s alright now, baby, it’s alright now,’ came on and I welled up a little. Very literal lyrics, but very true. Everything was alright now. Far more appropriate than ‘September’ coming on when he was first delivered into the world! ‘Walk of Life’ followed after, and ‘Brown Sugar’ after that. Dad would have enjoyed that playlist.
I asked Dr Chris if he had cut me, and he said he had to. I pointed my finger at him, like Nan used to do, and called him a monkey. He giggled and said he’d never been called a monkey before. He spent a while stitching me up, which again I couldn’t feel, it just looked a bit odd from where I was. And when he was finished, they wheeled me straight off. I forgot to thank him and Ellie for everything they had done, and I wasn’t sure I was going to see them again.
In the recovery room I saw Patrick feeding our baby boy, and that’s when I felt happy. That’s when everything fell into place and I realised that the last nine months of misery, and the last 8 hours of insanity were all for this. Me and Patrick had made a person, and he was here. Patrick looked so wonderful sat there feeding him. If I could re-live any moment in my life it would be that one.