Matthew’s birth story

I’ve taken this from my old blog and put it here.

Matthew Ian 26th April 2010

Today, my small boy, who really isn’t a baby any more, he is rapidly turning into a toddler, is a one year old! Happy Birthday, my precious little man.
This time last year, I was giving birth. The time has flown. It seems like yesterday we came home from the hospital, a brand new baby, a very excited big sister, and two slightly emotional and very tired parents!
We got pregnant with Matthew very easily, which after the issues we had conceiving Emily, was a pleasant surprise.
I knew I was pregnant, even before the tests showed up positive. We’d been “not trying, but seeing what happened” figuring that I would need to see my OBGYN for more hormonal support to keep me pregnant, because it seems pre Emily, my body knew what to do, it just didn’t like staying pregnant (after 1 unplanned pregnancy and miscarriage when I was still a student nurse, and a very much planned and even more devastating miscarriage 2 years later, after months of trying to get pregnant, and rounds of tests, we found I needed to supplement with progesterone for the first 13 weeks or so of being pregnant, to support my body) but to our delight, it seemed that my body was being normal, and voila, I did a test, e-mailed the photos to my slightly shocked husband at work (I think he was in a conference call when the photos arrived!) and then spent 32 weeks throwing up, or feeling nauseous all day, and most of the night. I can’t say I enjoy being pregnant, I try and see it as a means to an end, and the sickness and pelvis pain from SPD that comes with it, make me pretty miserable to be around.
We found out he was a boy. Actually, again, I knew from pretty much the start, and I actually “officially” knew, even before Charles did, because I went for a pre natal check up, at 16 weeks, and the slightly incompetent junior doctor (and I’m a nurse, so I’m allowed to say stuff like this) couldn’t find the heartbeat with the Doppler machine, so panicked, and called a sonographer, who wheeled in an ultrasound machine, and did a scan. They found the heartbeat, and the sonographer and midwife let me look at the pictures while they did some checks. I saw “boy parts” and asked if they were what I thought they were. The midwife wouldn’t confirm, but she did say she could see it pretty clearly too. So I kept a secret for 5 whole weeks, that Kickboxer, as he became known (I felt movement at 14 weeks) was a boy. Charles was of course delighted to find out he was having a son, and we were glad he was healthy and all was normal, even if the sonographer at my 21 week scan did make a bit of a fuss about how “big” he was, and that he was in all the 98th percentiles for his measurements and had a “nice big head and shoulders”. (After Emily’s slightly traumatic delivery, and the surgery I had to have afterwards, those were NOT words I wanted to hear)
So the pregnancy progressed. He didn’t come early, like his sister, but my blood pressure remained fine this time round, and no signs of the evil Pre Eclampsia that kicked in with her at 28 weeks. I was huge, and my pelvis and back were very sore, and by the end, I think I was consuming so much Gaviscon, for heartburn, that Charles kept saying we needed shares in GSK, who make the stuff.
At 40 weeks, after 4 weeks of a lot of false contractions, and spurts of pre labour, I went for my final midwife check. She examined me, did a few midwifey things we don’t need to mention here, and sent me home, with instructions to bounce on my birth ball, walk a lot, and to do anything I felt was comfortable with to “get things going” (again, you don’t need details) and told me that she would see me at 10 days post due, and if I hadn’t had him, she’d talk about induction to my doctor. She then remembered it was a Bank Holiday Weekend coming up, so said she’d see me in 13 days…! I cried all the way home on the bus, sat in Starbucks for an hour and cried into my coffee (yes, I drank coffee, it was one of the only things that I kept down and helped with the constant nausea) rang Charles and my Dad and cried some more. Then I went home, and ate a vast amount of pineapple, (which I loathe) spent the whole Saturday bouncing on my birth ball, and squatting, and went for a long walk. That evening, my brother’s partner rang (she was also pregnant, our boys were due within 10 days of each other) to say she thought her waters had broken, and she and my brother duly went to hospital, and my nephew arrived that night. I was delighted, but very jealous, I was so desperate to be done with being pregnant.
The Sunday, we visited my brother and his partner and their new baby, and I had stern words with my now enormous bump  that he could show his presence any time he liked.(by the way, those of you who take pleasure in telling a pregnant woman how HUGE she looks, you need to stop, it isn’t polite, tactful or endearing. You try humping around 9lb+ of baby, and all the extra stuff that comes with pregnancy and see how slim and trim you feel. We KNOW we are huge, we do NOT needed reminding of it, thank you!) I went home, cried some more, and a very good friend, who happened to read my Facebook post about being miserable and needing chocolate, appeared at our door brandishing a bar of Dairymilk, from Dubai, of all places. She made my day. I ate it, and went to bed, feeling more contractions, but ignoring them, as they never seemed to go anywhere. I actually slept, and woke at 5am, to go to the bathroom. My waters broke as I got out of bed, and I immediately saw they had meconium stains in them (for those who don’t know, that meant Matthew had passed fecal matter – meconium, his first poo, whilst inside of me, this can be quite serious, a sign of fetal distress, and as a nurse I knew this, from my midwifery placements when a student, so I called the hospital, and they told me to come in straight away, which put paid to my plans to labour at home for as long as I could) I called my Dad, who had spent the weekend with my brother, and new baby, so was pretty tired, and he came over to look after Em, whom I kissed goodbye and told her that Matthew was on his way. We had a moment of panic, because we hadn’t felt him move, for a while, and with the meconium staining, I was very worried he was in distress and we were going to loose him. We are Christian, so Charles prayed as I panicked and packed, and I was comforted by the fact that he gave me a resounding kick, as if to say “I’m OK, get me out of here now, Mum please”

We got to the hospital, and they were excellent, they admitted me, and got me hooked up to monitors, and we were very relieved that Matthew seemed fine, his heart rate was fine, and he wasn’t showing signs of distress, although the midwife was concerned about the meconium. The senior registrar came round and spoke to us, and explained that they would monitor me, as I was having regular contractions and was dilating, so they would let me work through, labour on my own, and see how we went, and as long as Matthew remained stable on the monitors they wouldn’t intervene. I rocked, bounced on my ball, and walked about the room, breathing through contractions, chatting to the midwife and Charles and updating Facebook, and Twitter. She offered me pain relief, but I wanted to manage without, as I felt the epidural I had with Emily had contributed to the issues we had, post partum, and I was actually managing OK. I got to 6cm in dilation, by myself, contracting regularly, then everything stopped. The doctor came back, and assessed me, and decided that we would start some Syntocin, to get me contracting again. At this point, I asked for an epidural. There was no way I was having syntocin induced labour without pain relief. Before they started getting things ready, they had to insert two intravenous catheters, in each hand. The midwife that came in to do that made such a mess of it, (my own midwife had gone to grab lunch so she could be there for when the did the epidural) I still have a scar on my hand from where she tried to put the catheter in 4 times, before I yelled at her, and told her to stop. They managed to get one in, and I asked to go to the toilet. As I went into the bathroom, I felt very sick and dizzy, and they whisked me back to bed. The anaesthetist arrived to administer the epidural. I was a bit devastated, as I had wanted to do without meds, but I knew we had to get him out. The doctor had said if he wasn’t born by 3pm, they would get me ready for a Cesarean section, as they didn’t want to leave Matthew in much longer. As I got back into bed, they lost the heartbeat on the monitor, and panic ensued. I announced that I NEEDED to go to the toilet badly, and all of a sudden my contractions came back, with avengance, one on top of each other. I couldn’t even speak. It HURT! My midwife arrived back from lunch, at 1:50pm, and she took over. She examined me, and loudly announced “no time for epidural, the reason you can’t find the heartbeat, is he has transitioned, his head is right here, he is coming RIGHT NOW”. I think I did 4 or 5 big pushes, and his head was delivered. I felt every 1 of the 30 seconds of the ring of fire, that is talked about, and then he was fully delivered. I did swear once, it HURT more than anything I had ever felt, and they whisked him away. He was blue, and had the chord round his neck twice. (they think this is why he passed meconium and was a bit distressed) they rubbed him, and gave him a little Oxygen and he started to cry. I have never been so relieved to hear a baby cry in all my life. They handed him to me, and the midwife and the doctor and the anaesthetist (who I think felt sorry for me, and had stayed to help if she could, because I wasn’t getting my pain relief – she actually held my right hand as I pushed and encouraged me, with Charles on the other side) all kept saying “he’s huge, well done”.

They cleaned me up, and I had some stitches, but it was nothing compared to the 2 hour surgery needed first time round, and I was able to hold and breastfeed my son. He arrived at 2:10pm, on Monday 26th April, after 8 hours of labour, no pain relief, weighing 4kg (just over 9lb 2oz) and we were a family of 4. Because he had passed meconium, they were concerned he may have aspirated some into his lungs during labour, so they kept us in hospital til the next day, to monitor him, but thank God, he was healthy, showed no signs of any infections or respiratory issues, and we came home at 4pm, the next day, and life has never been the same since. We had very few issues with breastfeeding, he gained weight beautifully, and whilst he definitely shows signs (even when he was inside me, he was feisty) of having quite a little personality, he is a sunny, happy and bright little boy. My labour and delivery had some scary moments, but I have no regrets, the staff were excellent and it was actually very healing for me that I delivered him, as big as he was, with little or no issues and no pain relief. I felt like Superwoman for weeks afterwards.

Anyway, there you go. His birth story. I’ve skipped some gory bits, but Happy Birthday, to my small boy, I can’t imagine life without you.

Matthew Ian 2;30-m 26/04/2010 4.2kgs

Matthew Ian , aged 1.

Although Matthew’s story, in its own way was somewhat difficult and a little frantic in parts, it was actually healing for me. I had honestly thought, after Emily’s birth, that I would not be able to go through birth again. I have to give thanks for the fantastic midwife who although was not long qualified, had confidence and faith in me, who didn’t leave me alone other than a quick lunch break, who knew what to do, when things were looking a little hairy, and who let me have the birth I wanted (no medication/minimal interventions) whilst keeping Matthew and I safe. I had a great obstetrician, and the care we received was excellent and helped with the final end of the healing process that I have walked through.

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