A Mixed Birth Story

Even though Jacob is now 3 months old I really felt I wanted to write about his birth. I haven’t been the luckiest when it comes to giving birth, and I feel its really affected me in some ways, and I think writing it down and sharing it would really help me, and perhaps other mums who haven’t been so lucky in the birthing department!

I had been getting really frequent Braxton hicks for a good couple of weeks leading up to my due date, a long with some other labour preparation symptoms such as, a funny tummy, loss of the gruesome mucous plug, my bump dropping, and the baby engaging (although we all know they can do this weeks before the big day!).

Finlay was born on his due date, so I knew this time round it would be really unlikely that this little one would come on his. As my due date came (6th of October).. And went, I entered into the “this baby is never going to come, and I will kill the next person to say I’m ready to pop” mind set, so in order to cheer me up the next evening, Jack decided we would all go for dinner, after all it would probably be the last one as a family of 3! It was a really lovely way to take my mind off the fact that I was bigger than a whale, and just take my mind off of the constant self torture of just waiting for something to happen.

3.30am 7th of October

I woke up around this time every night for about 2 months with just generally being uncomfortable and needing to pee! However, this time, I was woken by an awful pain in my lower stomach just below my bump, and it really is so true when they say “you will know when it starts”. Boy did I know! The pain was bearable, but I just knew that this was it! Off I went downstairs to my sleeping husband (He was sleeping downstairs because pregnancy apparently makes me snore. A lot.) “THIS IS IT!!”.

So between my contractions, which were coming around every 5-10 minutes, I managed to phone the hospital, and begin to get some bits together, and about 30 minutes later I was ready to go! Oh but apparently I just had to wait a bit longer whilst Jack took a shower… WHAT! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?

An hour later we were finally in the car, toddler in tow, making our way to my parents who luckily only live 2 minutes away from the hospital we were heading to. In the car I phoned them (30 times) to let them know we were on our way with Finlay, it took them a while to hear the phone! During the car journey the contractions were getting so strong, and getting really close together, I remember grabbing Jacks hand on the gear stick and just digging my nails into his hand! Poor guy!

We finally arrived at the delivery suite about 4.45am, to which we were greeted by a midwife who then showed us to our room. Am I the only one who really hates hospital rooms? I find them so eerie! By this point I’m barely able to stand, but sitting down seemed to hurt so much more! I was then asked by a midwife to follow her so she could weigh me. At this point no one had checked how far a long I was and I kept kidding myself that the contractions were further apart than they actually were, it was on the way back to the room the midwife said “they seem quite close together”. I think I’d done well by this point, it was painful beyond belief but I wasn’t screaming for the epidural like last time! I had spent about 5 minutes back in the room, when I suddenly got the urge to push, I told (screamed at) Jack to go get the midwife, to which she finally checked to see how I was doing. “Ah no wonder you need to push, 9cm and the only thing holding baby back is your waters”. I can honestly not explain how amazing that feels, I had been there 30 minutes and was about to have a baby! I really had prepared myself for the long haul as Fin took 12 hours to come, so to be in labour for 2 hours really was a bonus!

The pushing part was really quite easy, but this is when I was finally given gas and air – I was so chuffed I’d gotten that far without a single thing! He got a little stuck, I think they called it Shoulder Dystocia, but it was just for a second, and then he was out, I’m sure it was so much quicker because I didn’t have the epidural, and it was better in a way to be able to feel whether my pushing was doing anything, unlike last time where I was pushing but it wasn’t really doing much. My beautiful baby boy finally entered the world at 5.43am weighing 9lb exactly! It is so true when they say the pain just completely goes, that awful, excruciating pain just gone like that! Me and Jack both cried this time, I think it was because he could see how painful it was this time, where as last time, I had had the epidural so it was relatively calm and quiet. It was such an amazing and just perfect birth.

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And then came the terrifying part. I was bleeding again, and I could see the same old familiar face of panic on the midwifes face set in, and before I knew it there were around 8 people in the room. Jacob was quickly whisked off of me and given to Jack, who bless his heart looked in shock, and I had two anaesthetists on each arm trying desperately to get some cannulas in before my veins shut down, the midwife just frantically rubbing my stomach, I was given 3 injections into my thighs, and given a pessary, all in attempt to get my uterus to contract back. Something it should do on its own after the placenta is delivered. After this part it all gets hazy, and all I can remember is being rushed into theatre and a midwife holding my hand telling me that it was going to be ok and that Jacob was fine, and then I was out. I had to be taken to theatre to clear some blood clots to stop the bleeding and get sewn up. I was out for a couple of hours and then woke up in the recovery room, and although it was completely under control, and they had me in theatre within 15 minutes, it was scary. You cant help but go over the what ifs, and I get so sad that yet again I wasn’t able to give my baby his first feed, or get that important picture together just after birth. I missed the first 2/3 hours of his life, and that’s something I struggle with.

I can only imagine how Jack felt whilst all this was happening but he was so supportive, and just got on with looking after Jacob. I think being thrown in like that can be so daunting, especially as no one was really helping him with all the commotion going on! He was amazing!

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This is my first photo with Jacob. I’m the size of a whale due to all the fluid they had to pump into me to replace the blood, and I felt like I’d undergone 10 rounds of plastic surgery simultaneously, but despite all of that, it was worth every single second.

To the midwife that held my hand until I fell asleep – Thank you. A lot of NHS staff don’t get enough credit, but to you, I cannot thank you enough for not only delivering my baby, but for being a hand to hold, and the voice of reassurance in one of the scariest moments of my life.

Jacob Mcloughlin | 9lb | 5.43am

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