I was nervously waiting for the midwife to come and check the status of my cervix following on from the start of the contractions that afternoon. I felt a mixture of emotion, praying that it was ready but then panic set in as it would be time and I wasn’t ready! So at 21:30 …. The result was ….. IT’S READY!!!
The next step was to break my waters. Once this had been done then I would be induced properly in the morning of the 6th September, I am not going to lie, using this plastic hook device to break my waters was NOT NICE! It took a while and I was struggling with the pain and forgot that I was in the induction bay room where 3 other women were. I was soon made aware that I was crying out in pain which must have been unsettling as a curtain is not sound proof! Liberty did not like this attempt to get her going that she started to become distressed. They put a cannula put in my hand and was pumped with fluids. Liberty’s heart rate raised to 180bpm which was causing major concern. Still in the bay, I was trying to remain calm but when they told me that I may need an emergency C section, that’s when I broke down and demanded that they do what they need to to make sure that Liberty was safe! At this point I was bumped up the queue and transferred into the central delivery suite by 23:00.
As soon as we were placed into room 3 and connected up to the machines, Liberty decided to settle herself and heart rate reduced down to 142bpm! (this was her normal heart rate which she consistently gave at the last 4 antenatal appointments). I believe that we had just been played by her. Our daughter has been a little terror throughout my pregnancy! Hiding on scans, kicking heart monitors and now she decided that she wasn’t going to be made to wait for induction. Hope this isn’t a sign of things to come!
My contractions started to get stronger due to my waters being broken that I demanded to have an epidural to help with the pain. Gas and air wasn’t even touching the pain. I thought my luck was in as soon as I requested for the epidural, (Goodbye Water birth dream) they sent in the team to put it in. this was short lived as the bell had gone and the team were required to tend to a woman who needed an emergency C section. It was 3 ½ hours (exactly 2:36am to be precise) until the team came back due to continuous emergencies. By this point, the contractions were ridiculous! The pain was unbearable. It was mainly back pain as the position of Liberty was that my placenta was at the front and her back was against it so every contraction she would react by kicking me in the back.
During this time, I demanded that Dave read me the letter to Liberty from me over and over so I knew why I putting up with the pain and help me get through it. I think I cried for the whole 3 ½ hours. How was would describe the contractions would be that they feel like a tight pull! Like bending over with super tight trousers on and not undoing your button. (if you know what I mean).
The drama then came when they tried to thread the epidural into my back and couldn’t get it in properly. Obviously, this filled me with panic as I started to think that I couldn’t have one! After several attempts it was inserted correctly and then the pain-relieving drugs were pumped through my body due in time for the hormone drip to inserted. I was hooked up to a hormone drip which contained Syntocinon, which is an artificial form of the labour hormone oxytocin to speed labour up. As I had this drip, I needed a midwife to continuously monitor Liberty’s heart rate as the contractions could cause Liberty distress so had the sensors strapped to my tummy.
It was noted that I went into established labour at 4:45am when I was having about 3 -4 contractions every 10 minutes. So from then on I was checked regularly to see how dilated I was and it was at 20:30 when I was fully dilated. Those hours in between were a blur. A brief summary:
- Blood pressure high twice due to nerves so given tablets
- Liberty would get distressed and heart rate drop due to the hormone drip so speed of drip had to be constantly changed
- Adrenaline was so high I would shake uncontrollably
- Pain got so bad in my back that had to have lidocaine added into my epidural in the morning, managed to get a hours sleep but contractions on the back were too much!
- Had gas and air all day to the point where I was sick several times
- Top up of lidocaine didn’t work
- Had to have epidural relocated a bit higher as wasn’t killing my back pain and once that was done, it worked!
- Liberty had to have a fetal scalp electrode added to her head when was nearly ready to come out to monitor heart rate.
- Dave nearly had to visit A&E to remove the phone I would have smashed in his face as he was wanting to text his brother when I needed him to help me! (hahaha)
Just before the final dilation check was done, I started to get this overwhelming feeling that I was wanted to push. It weird when they say ‘you will know when you are ready to push’ as you really do! The doctor did the final check and shouted ‘IT’S SHOWTIME’ at the top of his voice. Here goes!
As I was pushing, I was screaming like it was my exorcism. The midwife told me to shut up! I see why she said that as you don’t realise how much energy it takes to scream out! Once I got the hang of it and screamed internally and followed the guidance from the midwife, our beautiful daughter Liberty Raven Hughes was born within 19 minutes from being fully dilated at 20:49. Dave was watching the whole thing and managed not to faint. He even cut the cord! We had a laugh and a joke about how she looked like her dad #poorthing
This picture speaks a thousand words! The raw emotion on my face! The tears of joy of finally meeting my daughter! Also, the fear that I would drop her as I was exhausted after nearly 23 hours, having a huge amount of drugs pumped into my body and a high bed. But there she was in my arms after all this time from when I found out about her, she was the size of an apple seed!
We were all shocked about the weight of her. As you have seen from my last posts, my bump was massive, we were all guessing her weight and think mine was 7lb 8oz. she was 6lb 4oz! WHAT!! I experienced a second-degree tear with this small baby, so god knows what would have happened to my body if I have to push a bigger baby out?! (makes me want to cross my legs just thinking about it).
As I mentioned above that I was exhausted, they went to put Liberty on my boob to feed but I didn’t put her on properly which caused me to blister ( I will explain more about my breastfeeding drama in my next post)
The summary of my labour was that it wasn’t too bad when it came to the pushing part and seem to have forgotten what that pain felt like, but it was the contractions and the back pain. The pain from her position was the horror story for me. This would be the only thing that stop me from wanting to have another baby. I am gutted that I couldn’t have the birth I wanted but everything was done with Liberty’s safety the number one priority and I can’t fault Harrogate Hospital at all. They respected my request to be informed of all steps of my labour and why certain decisions needed to be made but all with my consent.