My experience

As promised here is my experience with labour and also the aftermath. This may not be interesting to some people but I feel writing about it will help me process things better.

On the 17th July at 10:05 am I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl Poppy.

When I went into labour everything was fine. It was all very straight forward, she wasn’t in any distress she was happy and healthy at first. When I reached 10cm dilated and was ready to push, they warned me that they might have to help me a bit as she was becoming tired which could result in her becoming distressed.

They took my temperature and everything appeared normal. Her heart rate was a little high but they said the baby was reacting to the labour and was excited. I began to push and it became clear after a short time that I needed some assistance. The doctor arrived quickly and explained that he was going to deliver her by forceps. He said she was getting tired and they just needed to get her out. So as I pushed he pulled with the forceps, My mum and boyfriend were there supporting me. She was out pretty quickly. I started crying with relief and happiness that she was finally here. The midwife picked her up and put her on my chest…but then after a split second of her being on my chest a midwife picked her back up rubbed her quickly with a towel then took her to the other side of the room.

There was a table on the other side of the room a bit like an operating table, they laid her down on the table and started to examine her. I’d only caught a glimpse of my baby by this point. She hadn’t cried yet so the midwifes were doing things to try and get her to cry. I asked if everything was okay and a midwife said that they were just cleaning her up and she’d be right over to me. I looked at my mum and boyfriend they were both crying and watching what the midwifes were doing. I became aware of more staff entering the room. I started to cotton on that something was definitely wrong. I started to become distressed and kept asking if my baby was okay and what was wrong with her. The staff ignored me. I started to have a panic attack then my mum told the staff to tell me what was happening as I was clearly getting worked up. A member of staff said that my baby was struggling to breathe but she was fine. I was convinced I was going to lose my baby there and then. They put an oxygen mask on my baby and continued to talk amongst themselves quietly so I couldn’t hear what they were saying. A midwife came over and took my temperature again, I then heard her say that I had a high temperature. I did feel a little spaced out. I was dizzy and felt sick. I had some shortness of breath but put that down to anxiety.

After what felt like hours, a member of staff said that they had to take my baby to the neonatal ward as they thought she had an infection. They said she seemed to have fluid on her lungs and when she was breathing she was grunting like something was stuck. They asked me if I’d like to touch my babys hand before they took her away. I said yes. I reached out touched her hand and then they wheeled her away. I was inconsolable. All I wanted was to hold my daughter. I had barely seen what she looked like the whole thing was heartbreaking.

One of the midwifes came and took my blood pressure and my temperature again. They then said my temperature was still high and my blood pressure was a little high too. They then said I also had an infection they wasn’t sure what it was but I contracted it in labour and had passed it on to my baby. They put me on a drip of antibiotics and gave me pain killers. I was already on a glucose drip as I found it hard to eat in labour. I was moved to a recovery ward. We was told that only my boyfriend was allowed to stay with me so my mum had to go home. I was already distressed but seeing my mum go was hard as I wanted her too.

When they settled me in the ward, I was told to try and sleep. Sleep was the last thing I wanted to do, I hadn’t slept for nearly 24 hours but I was too worried to sleep. A midwife came round to introduce herself and said she was the one looking after me. Me and my boyfriend asked her if we could go and see our baby. She said I wasn’t allowed because where I had the epidural I had to wait for the feeling to come back to my legs before I could go anywhere. She said my boyfriend was allowed though. I told my boyfriend to go and be with our baby and to take some pictures of her on my phone so I could see what she looked like. He kissed me goodbye and went to see our baby.

The midwife said she’d leave me to rest but if I needed anything to press the button. She went away I was left alone. On the ward all I could hear was babies crying. My room on the ward was separated by curtains. My curtain was open and the lady opposite me had hers open too. She was there holding her baby. I ended up bursting into fresh tears at the unfairness of it all. I felt that should be me holding my baby instead of me being on a completely different ward to her. I was so desperate to see her.

When my boyfriend came back he showed me the pictures and although she was absolutely beautiful, my heart broke seeing all the wires and stuff. She was on a CPAP for oxygen, She had an iv thing on her hand to give her antibiotics. She had this straw thing to help get rid of the fluid on her lungs. I was devasted that this had happened and all I wanted to do was go and be with my baby. My boyfriend went to find the midwife to see if he could take me to see the baby in a wheelchair.

Finally they agreed, they arranged a chair and the midwife helped me sit in it. My legs were like jelly as the feeling hadn’t quite come back into my legs yet. I didn’t care I would have fallen on the floor a million times if it meant I could go to my daughter.

My boyfriend wheeled me over to the neonatal ward, when we reached her incubator and I saw her I cried all over again. I cried because she was so beautiful, she had the biggest eyes I’ve ever seen, the most perfect little nose and lips and was born with a lovely head of brown hair. She weighed 7lb 5oz which was a lovely weight. She was just so perfect. I cried because all I wanted to do was pick her up and hold her but wasn’t allowed to. All I could do was put my hand through the hole in the incubator and touch her hand. I cried because I knew after visiting her I’d have to leave her and I didn’t want to be away from her.

After we’d spent some time with her. We went back to the ward. We then got moved to a different ward where I could have visitors and stuff. Once we’d settled on the other ward, the doctor who had delivered her came to talk to me. He informed me that me and my baby had sepsis. He said I was fine when I started pushing but at some stage I somehow developed sepsis and I passed it on to my baby. No one knows what caused it.

That night we went to visit the baby again, the staff took her off the CPAP as her breathing had stabilised and she was able to then breathe on her own. I was told I was allowed to hold her. That was the most amazing feeling in the world! I can’t express the love I felt. I was so happy to finally be holding her in my arms.

After 24 hours she was able to join us on the ward. It was amazing to have her there with us. However after a couple of days I started feeling tearful. I felt really overwhelmed and anxious. I thought it was because I was in hospital and obviously I had been under a lot of stress. My moods kept dipping every day. I would cry at the smallest things. I would be staying awake at night checking the baby was breathing. I was told it was just a bad case of the baby blues and it would pass. We had to stay in hospital for 7 days. Those 7 days involved me finishing a course of antibiotics and also my baby finishing antibiotics. Also we had a midwife come round every 4 hours to do observations on Poppy. They would take her temperature and check her heart rate and breathing.

We came out of hospital on the 24th. I was really eager to get home with my baby. I couldn’t stand it in hospital. However once I got home I felt incredibly overwhelmed. I felt like I was a useless mother and that I wasn’t enough for her. I also felt really anxious. I was asking my mum and boyfriend how we could know for sure if Poppy was better. I felt anxious because there was no one to do observations on Poppy anymore. I cried so much that day.

I went through different emotions that week, I would either be really emotional and crying all the time, or just feeling really flat with no emotion at all.

It’s now been 3 weeks since Poppy was born and my mood hasn’t really improved. I’ve felt more anxious than anything. I’ve had quite a lot of tears too. I’ve had thoughts that I’m a bad mum and I don’t deserve my baby. I worry whether my baby knows who I am and whether she loves me. I have little appetite which isn’t good for me as it could trigger off my eating disorder. In terms of my weight I’ve pretty much lost most of my baby weight but I wouldn’t say I’m comfortable with my body right now. I’ve got bits that I want to tone up. I’m hoping I can stay on track for the sake of my daughter. The first step I’m going to take is to seek help for my moods. My friend said it sounds like I’m suffering from post partum depression as usually the baby blues would have passed by now.

Anyway that is my whole experience of labour, it was stressful and dramatic but me and Poppy got through it in the end. If anyone read this well done as this blog was really long!

Thank you for reading 🙂

Update

Hey everyone,

So last time I wrote I was still pregnant and I was overdue by 1 day… I have now had my baby she was born on the 17th July. She is nearly 3 weeks old and is so beautiful. We had a rough start with both of us being ill in hospital. We are doing well now and she is thriving every day. I am looking to do a proper blog post about what happened in labour and how I am finding things now. I thought that this would be a good place to share it as I need to process what happened and I think writing about it will help me do that.

Just wanted to share the update and I will be back with another post soon!