I was what you would call eager, my labour bag was packed from 26 weeks for heavens sake.
I made a list of last minute items to add to it when I went into labour as a way to distract my self from the pain and to break up the many hours we would spend at home before going into hospital. If I’m honest with you I thought I would ace labour, with minimal noise and fuss. ( I’m sure Ben will disagree with this theory ) but I’m always right, as no doubt Ben will tell you several times, if he was to ever meet you !
At 36 weeks I started bleeding and was admitted to the Labour Ward for assessment. I was actually pretty calm and not really worried about it all. My pregnancy was, to be polite, not the smoothest we could have had and I was a frequent attendee of the fine NHS establishment of Sheffield. As soon as the monitor was placed on me I was happy, as our little munchkin was never any trouble and as all the midwifes told me was a very happy and active baby.
Each night I told him he didn’t have to traipse in to sit with us as we were okay and each night he ignored me and came straight up after work, with clean clothes and goodies in hand. I’m pretty glad he ignored me as each night we had a ritual of using his laptop, sharing a head phone and watching the next episode of “The Bay”, great series but crap ending from what I can remember. This was my favourite part of the day. I acted okay but every night when visiting was over I hated him leaving, I put my brave face on told him not to worry and enjoy the bed to himself for once when really the selfish side of me wanted him to stay with me 24/7. Instead of this I decided I was going to make a conscious effort not to hound him with messages and instead let him get his rest . This did not happen as soon as Ben left the hospital fresh in a taxi he messaged me saying he hated leaving me and that he loved me. We continued to message late into the night until he reluctantly told me he was tired and going to try and nod off. I told him I was also half falling asleep whilst messaging and was also going to get my head down. (This was a little fib, I was not tired and proceeded to stay up most of the night.
It felt like a week but it was really only 2 nights I spent on the admission ward.
As that night a doctor checked me and said I was 1cm dilated and she would book me a bed on the labour ward to be induced. They did inductions on the ward I was on usually but I was classed as high risk and would not be given the pessary and instead go straight to having my waters broke. She explained this could take up to a week for the bed to become available and that she was sending me for a scan that morning to check my placenta position. I once again told Ben to go to work as there was going to be a long wait and no point in him hanging around. At 10 am that morning I was just leaving to go for my scan when a Labour Ward midwife came up and said right then are we ready ? She could tell by the look on my face I was not expecting her and I explained I was actually getting ready to go for my scan and not the labour ward. She checked with the nurse in charge who said to not attend my scan and just go to the labour ward and proceed with the plan of breaking my waters.
I rang Ben, telling him I was on the Labour Ward and that I was having my waters broken imminently. I cant even imagine what went through his mind in that moment as I had told him to expect waiting up to a week for any progress. In the time it took Ben to pick up my labour bag and come to the labour ward I had had a massive bleed and remember passing a clot that if I’d have had pain with it, would of for sure thought was the baby. I remember calling In my midwife who looked and couldn’t hide the panic on her face. She helped me on the bed and went to ask the consultants advice as she wasn’t happy to break my waters. As she was out of the room the head midwife came in to put me on the monitor , Harry was an easy baby to find and it took what seamed like forever for her to find his heart beat. All that was going through my head was I cant have anything go wrong with out Ben here with me . I cannot put into words the relief I felt when his loud thunderous heart beat echoed from the machine. I would of burst into tears there and then but didn’t want Ben to walk into a blubbering mess and instantly worry something was up. She returned with the news that I was under no circumstances allowed to be induced without having a scan first. This was the original plan to begin with before the nurse upstairs changed it.
I was laid on the scanning table , legs akimbo. I’ll start this by saying when your’e being scanned, you know its never a good thing when the sonographer tilts her head and says “OH?”. The woman scanning me had 25 years experience and could not tell me what she was looking at and said she would like to , if okay with me, get her colleague in. They mumbled and whispered and all I remember in that moment is hearing the words “It’s not safe to have your waters broke, you need a C section”. It was at this moment I could not contain my tears. I burst out crying, legs still spread. They continued to tell me that they wanted the head radiologist to be informed due to what they found on my scan. A few awkward it will all be okay’s and we were returned to the ward.
Long and short of it we were then transferred to another hospital to have an urgent MRI as the scan showed what looked like 2 birth canals. Seriously I couldn’t even make this up. We made a joke of it all about how lucky Ben was to have a woman with two vaginas and that this midwife wouldn’t forget me in a hurry, but secretly I felt like a freak. Like I should be shipped off to the circus post birth. It turns out that due to my severe endometriosis a pocket of blood had formed in my septum which made it look like there was two birth canals . So it looks like my circus stint is on hold…. for now.
It was when we returned to the Labour Ward that my midwife told me I was being transferred back upstairs as I would be needing a section. I cried again , hysterically sobbed in my chair. All I ever said throughout my pregnancy was that I was open to my birth plan changing but I was adamant I didn’t not want a caesarean, that was my worst nightmare. The midwife hugged me and Ben sat awkwardly tapping my back , as he says he didn’t know what to do as she stole his hug moment , that and I NEVER CRY, so he just awkwardly sat there. I think I cried more in one day than I have our whole relationship- the ice queen had indeed been broken.
Thankfully Lindsay’s choice to not break my waters was a blessing as the scan showed that my placenta was low lying . This had not been picked up on any scan before ( and I had many).
My placenta was partially covering my cervix and if my waters had of been broken it would have pulled out the afterbirth before Harry and we would have been in serious trouble. Harry would most likely of not made it and I would have been put under a GA for emergency surgery. In hind sight, me crying was stupid and I cant thank everyone enough, for making the decisions they did and for saving me and my boys life that day.
I returned to my previous ward and was placed in a private room , it was like a hotel. I think they put me there as they felt sorry for me. Maybe I should cry more often ? That night was grand. Ben got me an Uber eats. A dirty McDonalds. I ate that and we watched TV. That night was a pretty settled one. I got woke up to have steroid injections and have regular checks but other than that it was pretty good.
I had gone to Bed hoping that they would section me in the morning. I know quick turn around right?Once The severity of what could have happened had settled in I soon realised it was pretty silly of me to be acting like I did. Now I had accepted the fate of a caesarean I wanted it and I wanted it now. We had planned for Ben to come in for around 11am as we would hopefully know more by then. Once again Ben got a phone call at 9.30am telling him to be up here with in the next half an hour as i was 2nd on the list ! My prayers for it to happen now had indeed been answered.
I couldn’t believe it was actually here. Ben arrived and we both got changed. Me into my sexy gown and stockings completely makeup free and Ben dressed up in scrubs playing the role of sexy Dr, down to a tee. All the staff were amazing except for one woman who escorted us from the room to theatre and then briefly made an appearance in recovery. She was horrid and has been erased from my memory as I do not wish for her to be a part of our big day!
As we sat in the theatre waiting area there was a young man there who’s surgery hadn’t gone to plan and they’d had to put his wife asleep to deliver his twins. I think me and Ben were more worried than he was , he was as cool as a cucumber and to this day I do not know how. The last we heard his wife and the twins were doing well.
They let Ben come with me whilst they administered my spinal. From what I remember it was relatively pain free , although now I’m not sure if this was just the adrenaline. Before I knew it I was laid down and prepped. They asked me to try and lift my legs to see if the spinal had started to take effect. This wasn’t to see if I could actually lift my legs, it was just routine procedure to confirm it had indeed worked. Everyone in the room realised this, except me. I have never tried as hard to do anything in my life as I did in that moment. As you can imagine I failed. And as you can also imagine Ben was a model, doting, supportive boyfriend who sat there grinning and shaking his head in disbelief at my stupidity and stubbornness.
Now I’m writing this I’m thinking about how it actually felt and if I’m honest with you I can’t remember. The worst bit by far was when they announced to the room what stage they were at . “Cutting, delivering baby”. Due to my condition they had already warned me that extra blood was in place as they were preparing for a lot of blood loss. They were also going to do delayed cord clamping but warned me that if anything was up with me or baby they would cut straight away.
As soon as they announced he was out they announced they were cutting the cord. I asked if I was bleeding and they said no it was in that moment I knew it was something to do with Harry. They popped him in a plastic bassinet , told me to look to the right as they were wheeling him past and I would be able to see him. I couldn’t see anything and before you know it he was whisked into another room. I looked at Ben and his face looked worried. I asked him if he saw him and he said he did and he looked okay and that they were just checking him over. In true Ben style he assured me everything was okay even though he wasn’t sure it was. A nurse confirmed this and said he was just a bit startled so they’re checking him over. Ben has since told me that hes glad I didn’t see him as he was blue and floppy and not in a good way at all. Me and Ben have a thing where we don’t lie to each other but little fibs are allowed as long as we announce were fibbing. To this day I’m so thankful that he chose to determined that time as a little fib moment.
They let Ben into the room after they had resuscitated him and asked him if he would like to hold Harry, he declined and said let his mum have first hold. Once he was well enough they brought him out and popped him on my chest. I had researched skin to skin and it was something I was keen on doing. I once again cant explain how I felt when holding my little boy for the first time. I looked at his perfect little face and was full of emotion but I didn’t cry, I wanted to and felt like I was going to but I was full of adrenaline and worry. Sadly that was the main emotion I remember, that overtook the instant rush of love, happiness and excitement. I had waited so long for this and it was here but the emotions were not what I thought I would feel. This little love of my life was in my arms and It was the most surreal thing ever.
As they were trying to stitch me up they kept knocking Harry. I asked if Ben could hold him as I wasn’t able to fully enjoy cuddles as they were pulling me from pillar to post. I was worried something was up with Harry and I was conscious of Ben also having skin to skin. That was scuppered as the student nurse tried to pass him up Ben’s scrub top. Looking back it is hilarious that they even tried to do this as Ben’s top wasn’t the loosest of fittings. She nearly dropped him and I could see Ben getting frustrated. Ben wanted to remove his top and hold him like that but for some reason she was adamant he would fit up it. He had cuddles and I couldn’t believe I was looking at the love of my life nurse our little boy. Time was slow and I remember looking and thinking I cant believe this has happened. After been told I couldn’t have babies I cant believe this moment is here. As I was staring at Ben , I loved the way he was looking at our little boy, slight nervousness of a new dad but pure love . It suited him. It was then I saw his face turn to worry, my initial thought was that he was over reacting but then a nurse then took him off Ben and took him into the resus room again. We were then taken out of theatre with out Harry and taken into recovery. We left theatre with out our baby boy.
We waited together for what seemed like forever but realistically it can’t of been more than ten minutes. Harry was placed in my arms and the worry had left me. He was perfect. I had our boy and no one was taking him away from us again. No one knew he had been born. This was our secret time as a family. Just the three of us (and a room full of recovery staff of course). It was at this moment I had that rush of love. I was so happy we had our little boy. I started to cry but quickly stopped my self and I managed to wipe my eyes with out anyone noticing. I had got my bearings and it was in this moment I knew our life had changed forever.