Monday 13 July 2009

My Labour and Birth Story at PRUH

OK, so I had been up all night with contractions, I'd had no sleep, the night before I had been kept in PRUH (Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough) and had hardly slept so I was already tired before anything started! - Read my earlier post on this!

I'd been having blood pressure problems and suffered from swollen feet, ankles and wrists ohhh and face!

It was 6am and I had been labouring mildly since about 7pm the night before but properly from about midnight. I hadn't realised I was in Labour at first because all my contractions were in my lower back, I didn't know this could happen and didn't have a single contraction across my tummy.

With each contraction I had to bend forward, it was the only thing that helped me ride through them.

When we got to the hospital, I had just got out of the car when I had a contraction, I had to kneel on the carpark floor! and again in the hospital corridor! There was me on the floor leaning onto the wheelchair seat making whale noises - with Hubby balancing all my bags and stuff! - What a sight! Two people passing by took pitty on us and helped get me and all our stuff to the delivery suite, once we had been put into a delivery room, it turns out that the man who had helped in the corridor was my midwife, Jimmy!

My birth plan was basically to use hypnobirthing, have a water birth with gas and air as pain relief. I wanted to avoid drips, catheters, pethadine, epidurals and ventouse, the last thing I wanted was to be stuck on a bed and I'd like vitamin K given by oral drops to my baby as I had read about the possible risks from the injection.

So what happened was that I needed to be strapped to the monitor from the moment I entred the room because of my BP and baby's heart rate - I was stuck on the bed with lots of wires attached to me, every time I had a contraction I needed to be helped forward, the back pain was agony - I actually felt like I was going to be left paralysed. I had gas and air which was fantastic! Really helped me cope with the pain and made me feel a little drunk and provided entertainment for my hubby! I kept feeling like I was blacking out and when I felt aware again I kept saying Hello and saying "drunk" things like I know what's going on it's just my speech has gone funny...

I had brought an icelolly with me in the cool bag and wasted no time at all getting stuck into it! The gas and air gives you such a dry mouth it was a relief to have! Jimmy, the midwife thought it was hilarious that someone had brought an icelolly! Take Icelollys and hand fans with you!

I ended up getting really badly dehydrated to the point that my lips went blue and I had to be hooked up to a drip.
The contraction pains were so intense I ended up having pethadine injected into the top of my leg, this meant that there was no chance of a water birth and things were happening so fast I could hardly think, let alone practice hypnobirthing! and as I was stuck on the bed, I wasn't able to use any yoga poses.
It also turned out that only part of my waters had broken, the rest were in the way and had to be burst for me - with something large and painful. It also turned out that my bladder was too full and in the way too so I ended up with a catheter!

Every time I had a contraction, my baby's heart rate dropped below 100 and the monitor alarm went off which was terrifying- both me and my hubby were scared that baby wasn't going to make it out alive.

I was in complete agony and struggling to push baby out (I'm sure the lack of sleep from the previous 2 nights didn't help!) I was in so much difficulty and baby was getting distressed that I ended up needing the ventouse to help deliver baby. They inject your ummm opening to numb the pain of getting the ventouse in and also when I ripped, I didn't feel the pain but I did feel the action of it happening and all the blood that followed which was a bit unsettling!

When they finally got baby out, I only had him on me for a second, they had to put him on oxygen to get him breathing - we didn't know we had a boy but recognised his features from the 4d scans we had done! The relief was imense when we finally heard him and saw him moving!

I'd lost half a litre of blood there and then and went on to lose another half litre and a huge blood clot (needed two hands to pick it up!) the midwife who came to my rescue told me it was one of the largest she had ever seen!

My baby boy only weighed 5lb 13oz when he was born and was absolutely perfect! Ended up with the vitamin K injection instead of oral drops though!

It's taken me a while to cope with the birth and accept it - It's left me feeling a bit traumatised and shocked - it was much worse than I had anticipated and I since found out that back contractions are rare and much more painful than ones across your tummy.

It was good to be on the labour ward so that everyone could come and visit and see our baby but it was hard for hubby to go home that night and leave us alone - I do think it's hard on partners!

We were out of hospital the next day and the midwives were fantastic, I got help with learning to breastfeed, change my boy's nappy and how to give him a bath!

The food was awful, so take your own cool bag full of drinks and snacks! Breakfast is cereal or a slice of bread (there is no toaster), Lunch was a microwaved hard potato and I'm not sure what the evening meal was - somehow I missed it!

At the pruh the staff were great and everything seemed clean and in order. If I were to have another baby I would go here again! (Although it's too soon to think about putting myself through birth again!)

Emma in Bromley

Friday 3 July 2009

Stop over in PRUH and getting labour started!

In the last few days of my pregnancy I had developed a few small complications, My swollen ankles had swollen even more, my blood pressure was high and I had a level 2 protein reading.

My midwife at the GP's had said to me that if I get even the slightest hint of a headache, that I should call the labour ward at PRUH (Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough)

The next day I got a headache, I thought it was just down to a bizzy day and the heavy air pressure but I took the advice of my hubby and phoned the labour ward - who asked me to pop in so they could just check everything was OK.

My blood pressure was all over the place so I had to stay in that night, at one point my bp reached 170/110. I was terrified - I'm not comfortable with hospitals as I had a few operations as a child (childhood kidney disease) and I was put on a ward in a bay with 4 beds, my hubby stayed as long as he could but was not allowed to stay with me - I'd have felt a lot more comfortable if my hubby could have stayed with me!

I didn't get much sleep, it was very noisey on the ward and any sleep I did get was interrupted either for me to be woken for my bp and other readings or by the sounds of others being woken for their monitoring or the cries of babies from other bays, staff talking to each other and various equipment beeping. I would reccommend that if you should need an overnight stay before your baby is born - pack ear plugs!

The next morning the doctors decided that I should be induced in a few days time as although my BP had settled a little in the night they were concerned, they booked me in for induction on monday and told me I had to come back for monitoring over the weekend.

In the meantime I was advised to see if I could get labour started using other methods and was offered a sweep - which I had.

OMG! the sweep hurt like h3ll and was a lot more uncomfortable than I was expecting (They said it was like a smear test) I wasn't dilated at all so it was very painful and left me feeling rather bruised and uncomfortable!

After I was discharged from hospital we decided to see what we could do to get things going.

We went for a walk to our favourite Indian restaurant in Bromley (The papadom) - I had Chicken Tikka Buhna and a few pineapple juices.

Before we had even left the restaurant, my show had started! and I had very mild lower back pains but I suffer IBS and put it down to food and tiredness. We walked back to the car and took the route home with the most speed humps - as I was still feeling bruised from the sweep it was quite uncomfortable!

When we went to bed, I was still having mild back cramps and they were getting stronger, I also had to go to the loo with an upset tummy - it felt very much like IBS and I wasn't getting any pains accross the front. I was struggling to get comfy in bed or sleep, I ended up going downstairs and was getting those back cramps every 10 mins, I couldn't sleep and by this point it was midnight and I started to suspect I was in Labour but was confused as I thought contractions happened across your front (turns out that for a few of us, we get contractions in our backs!) The pains in my back kept getting worse and I laboured downstairs until about 6am, each time I got a contraction, because they were in my back I had to roll forward over my birthing ball or go on all fours on the floor. When the pains were coming every 3 mins and were very painful (the noises I was making, I wondered if the neighbours thought we were having noisey sex!), I told hubby it was time to go!

Whilst my hubby was phoning the labour ward my waters broke they kind of gently gushed out if that makes sense! Hubby made the calls to our parents and packed me into the car and off we went to the hospital.

If you would like to read more about my Labour, please read my Labour story entry...

Emma in Bromley