Jago’s pregnancy and birth couldn’t have been more different to Dylan’s, nearly 4 years earlier, which you can read about here.
Having had such a difficult pregnancy and traumatic delivery with Dylan, it was a long time before I was ready to think about having another baby. Then when we did start planning and trying for one, it took a long(ish) time to happen.
Once the pregnancy was confirmed and the 12 week scan was all ok I started to seriously worry about the delivery. Feeling that I had dodged the bullet with Dylan, I was extremely panicked about delivering another baby naturally. This fear was compounded when I found out that I had the same consultant as last time. Luckily I discussed my fears with my mother, who found a private consultant, who happened to work at the same hospital as I was having J at and off I went to see him (in a mess of snot and tears and panic).
Mr Anim (my consultant) was incredible – we discussed everything in minute detail and he said that while he would give me a c-section if it was what I really wanted, he felt it would be better for me emotionally to attempt a natural delivery. He explained that I would only be looked after by a very senior team, that they would know if there was going to be any trouble, in good time and if they thought it was going to be a difficult delivery etc then they would go straight to c-section, rather than attempt an assisted delivery. Oh and he was an nhs consultant at the hospital and he was happy for me to change to him, rather than try to stick it out with the consultant I had been awarded.
At the same time, my auntie, who is a very experienced midwife, had offered to be there with me and I had an enjoyable remainder of the pregnancy.
On Thursday, 18th July I went down with a lethal tummy bug in the evening and had 12 hours of utter hell (tummy bugs are bad enough but having them when heavily pregnant is awful). The next morning I woke up, still felt ropey and went back to sleep around 10am. I woke up at midday with the first signs of labour. I wasn’t overly concerned as I knew it could be a long time. I whiled away time in the house, reading, waiting for contractions to get more regular. At 3:30 I called my auntie (Clare) and Stu, Dylan and I went for a walk where we ran into just about every neighbour we had, whilst trying to pretend nothing was going on! We then ended the walk dropping Dylan at my best friend’s house for the night. When we got home Clare arrived and we killed time between contractions with her trying to get me to eat as I hadn’t been able to with the tummy bug and she was worried about my energy levels.
At around 6:30(ish) I was really struggling with the pain and phoned the hospital to see about coming in. I spoke to a really arsey midwife who was quite dismissive and said to come in and they’d ‘see’ if I was in labour. Clare drove us there, we parked in the carpark and it took 10 minutes and 3 contractions for me to be able to walk to the maternity unit. Once there and another load of contractions while they checked me in, they explained they now triaged labouring mothers and to wait on a tiny ward that was hotter than hell and had the arsey midwife in it.
Once there, the arsey midwife examined me, said I was only 4cm and I would be there all night, that the baby wouldn’t be delivered before approximately 6am, as it had taken 8 hours to get to 4cm. I then started to vomit copiously, which was kinda funny as Stu was sitting in a chair next to the window and Clare was passing me sick bowls over his head, which I was vomiting into and passing back to her (nice!).
The arsey midwife came back into the room, saw this and decided to get me out of there sharpish. She explained that I had to have a high-tech room as they were expecting me to haemorrhage, like I did last time and wanted to be prepared, incase the baby needed resuscitating. She then said that the room was just being cleaned and as I was struggling with the pain, to go 2 doors down, as we were in the midwife led unit, and get some gas and air.
I got to the room where the midwife introduced herself 3 times! (her name was Anne) and she and my auntie Clare got talking and they agreed that they would immediately get a drip set up as I was dehydrated from the tummy bug. Anne got this sorted, and was happily chatting to Clare while I was on my hands and knees on the bed with the gas and air clamped between my teeth. My waters suddenly burst and I grabbed both their hands – they rushed into action, checked me and we were ready to go! This was 20 minutes after being told that I was only 4cm!
The rest is a bit of a blur as my body went into shock, I wasn’t pushing and yet this baby was rocketing through my body. I refused to give up the gas and air at all costs and vaguely remember very crossly thinking ‘who is that screaming and making all that noise? I am TRYING to have a baby here’. It was a long time later that I found out it was me, repeatedly screaming ‘I’m going to die’. As my body was in shock I couldn’t really move my legs, Clare was holding up one leg and Anne the other, the baby was coming in a series of back to back contractions, they were monitoring his heartbeat via a doppler as they hadn’t had time to put me on a monitor and the whole time Clare was telling me that they thought the baby would be shocked, same as Dylan had been, not because he was in trauma (as Dylan was) but because the delivery was so quick. Clare told me to not expect him to cry or be pink but they were monitoring his heartbeat and all was ok.
I felt very calm with Clare there, but was still in excruciating pain. I could hear them calling in another midwife and ordering the drugs they anticipated I was going to need once he was delivered as they were expecting me to haemorrhage.
After a short time they realised he had got so far and was stuck (this was due to his hand being clamped next to his head) and his heart rate dipped, they gave me an episiotomy and he was delivered, in full, in under a minute. I remember screaming ‘I’m going to split in 2’, Clare assuring me this wasn’t going to happen and me screaming at her that she couldn’t possibly know that and I could be the very first person that happened to. Needless to say, I didn’t and all was fine!
Jago was born, pink, screaming and healthy at 9:32pm, 12 minutes after my waters had broken. I hadn’t known what I was having so to discover he was a boy was lovely. I got to hold him then handed him to Stu as I was feeling unaccountably grumpy that he was still crying! They gave me the drugs to stop bleeding (I didn’t) and then employed a rub down technique until the bleeding was under control. My blood pressure was tacky due to being so dehydrated and having a reaction to the sulphur in the drugs they had given me so they wheeled me and Jago off to the High Dependency Unit for the night.
We stayed in hospital for another couple of days while they waited for my blood pressure to sort itself out and Jago had failed his hearing test – all was fine, he was mucous-y due to spending such a short amount of time in the birth canal (he hadn’t even engaged prior to the delivery) that the mucous hadn’t been squeezed out of his lungs etc.
Dylan came to see us the day after Jago was born and a day later than that we went home to start our new life as a family of four.