I have a gorgeous 28 month old Radha who was supposed to come into this world in a pool at a birthing centre with lots of beautiful music playing and me dancing to keep her motivated to come out. I had a wonderful midwife (who is attending my current baby) and the support of my partner who despite his natural aversion to anything natural sucked it up and really came through for us.
I did lots of research and decided that although I want to be a crunchy mama and like to think of myself as being totally at one with the universe, I'm more someone on a journey away from the traditional and toward the natural - so I opted for an in hospital water birth with a home birth specialist midwife, best of both worlds as far as I can see. The hospital was only a birthing centre and did not offer any interventions at all, but wasn't my home which at the time was not a place I wanted to birth (too public and a big old dog that couldn't be trusted).
I woke at 4 am and just knew she was coming - I gently woke my partner and told him that he could go back to sleep for a few more hours but to be prepared for our baby. Probably I should have just woken him when I needed! I spent the morning timing contractions, relaxing and getting very excited, the contractions were strong and frequent but they didn't hurt. The mw came at 10 and said I was 4cm and to meet her at the centre after lunch unless things got out of control. I was very keen to go in and get the process under way but managed to wait until 1pm. Sadly things started going a little wrong as soon as I arrived without even knowing it. I went to the bathroom and discovered I couldn't pee, I didn't realise this was a problem but it turns out my uterus completely blocked my watery bits so I started retaining urine. I still felt good, if not a bit uncomfortable from not being able to relieve myself, I laughed and joked between contractions and got to know the student mw who was attending her very first birth. For the next 3 hours I started getting in and out of the water, It was wonderful and I don't believe it slowed things down at all. My waters exploded from me at 8 cm and the business really began. I remember nothing of this other than saying to my mw somethings wrong it hurts too much and it hurts wrong. She got me straight out on to a bed to give me gas while she checked me over. At 5 pm it turns out at 9cm my girl turned oa to op - def one of the 5% because she also came on her due date!!! My mw gave her half an hour to turn but nothing happened and although I fully dilated I got no urge to push - she was stuck.
I got transferred to the hospital and it was terrible to be wheeled naked through the hospital (I'm sure they must have put a sheet over me) screaming and into the ambulance, and back through the next hospital. I was put on a bed where a catheter was instantly inserted along with a FHRM and my legs went into stirrups. I was in agony, I could not think that this was labor pain - it was like my spine was being crushed. Eventually I caved and told my mw to get me an epidural - feeling like a failure and beginning to really panic I lost control, vomiting crying and basically shutting the whole process down. Every 15 minutes or so a resident would come by, stick his hand inside me and tell me it would just be another 15 minutes before I could have pain relief, and to keep pushing. It turns out there were 3 emergency ceseareans that night and there simply wasn't anybody to administer the drugs. I wish they had just told me that - I would have tried to harden up and get through, but the promise of 15 minutes more really weakened my resolve. At 10 oclock (5 hours later) they finally found someone who could give me some drugs. My daughter was properly stuck and she was starting to struggle. I was told by the resident I wasn't pushing properly and to keep trying or they would have to do a c section. I could hear my mw in the corridor yelling at the dr's telling them to respect my birth and to get me sorted straight away - bless her. They wheeled me into the surgery and the head ob gyn said he would try a forceps delivery before a c section. I was given the drugs and then every thing was fine..... Radha was born at 10.45pm by forceps with an apgar of 7 - she needed to be shocked into breathing, apprantly the emergency buttong was pushed and people came flying in, although I don't remember that. Her cord had to be cut immediately, but thankfully as soon as she was stabilised (about 5 minutes) she was placed on my breast. She is now the most amazing little person I can imagine.
After this birth I think my poor partner was my traumatised than I was. He keeps telling people how bad it was but in all honesty I think that if she hadn't rotated the wrong way it would have been fine. I've been able to separate what happened next as not part of birth, but a complication, and it's the complications I fear this time not the actual birth. I'm actually very pleased that I had her in a baby friendly hospital and that the obgyn consented to doing forceps when her heart rate was really looking quite bad instead of just chopping me open. I ended up with a 3rd deg tear but really that was the last of my concerns.
I was due 10 days ago and still waiting for my little ROP to arrive, this time I'm far more aware of things I can do during labor to move baby back, the importance of remaining calm, and also how important it is to me to avoid me being strapped down during the birth( how it felt)
Because I have GBS and a ROP baby I have decided to birth in the hospital but they now have pools there so I should still be able to have my water birth. I think I'll relax knowing they will be staffed to accommodate me needing drugs if the wheels fall off again, but I am hoping that knowledge is power and this time if baby stays ROP I'll be mentally prepared and able to work through it. Thanks for reading, off to lie over my swiss ball now