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At 40+3, woke up with more of the BHs I’d been having, playing with my timer app on my phone, they weren’t regular but weren’t disappearing either. By lunchtime i was feeling uncomfortable enough to retreat upstairs with food & drink and a towel to sit/lie on (luckily our p-t nanny was here to take over the boys & DH was at home too so kept checking up on me whilst keeping the boys occupied in the garden).
Got to every 10 minutes, still not sure if they were real contractions or Braxton Hicks at this point. Rang Community Midwives just to let them know things were probably kicking off – had a minor wobble as ‘my’ MW wasn’t on and her preferred 2nd choice wasn’t either, eek! Someone rang me back and reassured me about the support I would get from the midwives that were on duty (one had been here for my first HB). Got to 5ish and things were definitely hotting up, had some ctx 5 minutes apart (but not all of them) and was losing some blood which was making me nervous so rang hospital to ask someone to come out (feeling a bit of a fraud & a liar saying I was at 5 minutes but wanted someone to check me over).
MW then got stuck in traffic….
Waters went at 6pm.
Moved downstairs to kitchen, DH sorting the pool out, nanny took boys to watch tv/have a bath/go to bed.
Things really kicking off, all i was capable of was pressing the app button with poor DH watching the times get closer together!!
No sign of MW, he called hospital again who sent out paramedics. MW arrived just before they did, so they stayed (bloke was very discreet and kind of stayed in the background which was appreciated as he wasn’t part of my plan!).
She got the G&A out, I got in the pool (she did a VE with me in the pool which wasn’t something i’d considered but was much more pleasant than out), she said well you’re 9ish centimetres when you feel the urge off you go! (previous labours i’ve made it to 5 or 6 centimetres by the first VE so i was surprised). Started pushing, comment from MW ‘the face is out’ (hmm), baby came out, was passed to me between my legs, we had a cuddle & I checked to find out we had a little girl! (we were pretty sure it was going to be a boy). 7.09pm (est labour = 1.5-2hrs!)
Her hb was a little low so cord was cut, and MW sorted her out. I chilled out in the pool for a bit almost in shock at how quick things had gone.
Baby weighed = 9lbs8.5oz. A serious chunk
She checked me over and said I had a tear, gave me 2 stitches then decided actually I needed to go into hospital for surgery as the tear was extensive (possibly 4th degree, ended up being defined as 3a).
Paramedics (who had gone) came back, we went in.
The most horrendous exam in the world later, the obstetrics team agreed that I did need surgery, things were not good. Possible fistula (hole between rectal & vaginal passages), poss future anal incontinence, lots of other lovely things discussed.
Surgeon on duty was a breast specialist! so was decided I would wait for colo-rectal surgeon to come on duty the next day. (spent some time pondering…who grows up wanting to be a colo-rectal surgeon?!?!)
Eventually went for a GA at 1pm the next day (they wanted me to have a spinal but i did NOT want to be awake/aware for this!!), had surgery, was not as bad as had been thought, no fistula, one anal sphincter was intact so incontinence should not happen, second sphincter was torn so lots of stitches, and massive swelling & bruising. ouch.
Finally came home on Saturday (had baby Wednesday) and all is healing up nicely (apparently!). Swelling has gone down loads and I’m being a good girl and taking all my meds, laxatives, painkillers, etc.
Despite the tearing (from baby being face first) I feel so much better than after my c-s and I wouldn’t choose an elective caesarean over another VBAC in the future. Only the briefest of mentions of ‘did you fill out the deviation from protocol forms?’ (I mumbled a yes – though I hadn’t, lol) referred to the previous c-s. After trying to give birth in the water twice before, I recommend it to anyone, it was lovely
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