Birth story - Cara and baby Charlie

Wednesday 8th May, I started the day off with my 40 + 5 midwife appointment - I had my second sweep, my midwife was booking me in for my induction and things hadn't really progressed from the week before - and baby boy was very very happy inside!

Myself and my hubby went home, and went about our day as normally as we could. The day ended up being a weird one to say the least... all sorts of things happened and everything just seemed out of sorts.. I was feeling exhausted - I actually ended up going to bed at 4pm! By 10.45pm things started to change... & at 11pm my waters broke... baby boy was on his way! I woke up Jack, who had just nodded off!

We called the hospital who told us to come in, and then called Jacks parents as we needed to drop off the dog on route. When we got to the hospital, about 40 minutes later, we were taken to the Midwife lead unit, my pregnancy had been very straight forward and my "plan" was to have a no intervention, midwife lead water birth. I was very much expecting to be told to go home until my contractions were closer together... after my waters had been examined.. it was quite clear things were going to go to differently and this is where things got a bit more hectic.

Baby had decided to open his bowels, so I was going to be induced, there and then... I would be lying if I said I wasn't slightly disapointed, and very nervous but this was best for baby so the midwives got everything prepped for me.

In no time, I was in my room on the labour ward and being hooked up to the monitor and the drip was started... the contractions came on quicker than I could have imagined, I was only 1 cm dialated at the beginning and was told by numerous midwives, that its normal for an induced labour to be a long process...

So, we were in it for the long haul - Jack got the room prepped by playing our Hypnobirthing soundtrack & switching on the battery tea lights and we chatted, tried to rest as much as we could and just waited for things to progress.

After 5 hours of contractions, of which I used my breathing technique to help with each surge and was a total game changer for me, things started to get more frequent and a whole lot more intense. I was then offered gas and air - amazing! I continued breathing, resting when I could, and using gas and air to support my breathing.

Another two hours passed, I then decided it was time to ask for the epidural, something I never thought I would ask for (fear of needles) - within 10 minutes I was hunched over a pillow, holding my midwives hands and counting to 10 as the anaesthetist did her thing... it was the best thing I have ever done. Although I was still able to feel each surge, they were easier to control and as baby was back to back the discomfort in my back eased up.

At the 7 and half hour point my midwife decided it was time to check me and see how much further I had progressed - I was half asleep at this point & Jack was napping, I was sure I wasn't anywhere near 10cm so I just continued listening to my body - after a good 5-10 minutes and having two midwives check me, I was to everyone's surprise... ready... what!

A sense of overwhelming, excitement, nerves and shock came over me all at once... my lovely midwife proceeded to wake Jack up, who was beaming with excitement! I was then given an hour to rest, and let my body naturally progress further - this hour felt like 1 minute!

It was go time...

My lovely midwife talked me through the "pushing stage" and with Jack right by my side and helping me out with my breathing that we had both spent so long learning - I started to push. This felt so crazy to me, those full 9 months... all coming to an end and we were on the real home straight to meet our baby. After about half an hour of pushing, things were not progressing in the way my midwife hoped, I was exhausted and felt like I had been pushing for hours. She advised me to rest my eyes in between each surge to conserve my energy. So I did, when I momentarily opened my eyes again, I was greeted by 6 other medical staff, doctors, 2 more midwives and a surgeon...my whole pregnancy I had been so lucky to be very low risk - so when I opened my eyes to see a room full of people, I started to worry - it was only when I looked up to my right to see Jack, who kissed my head and whispered to me over and over - "this is for the best for you and our Charlie" I was more determined than ever to deliver my baby boy which ever way was safest.

Baby's heart rate was dropping at every surge, he was getting quite stressed and wasn't moving down - so my amazing, supportive midwife explained what was going to happen next... the incredible medical team quickly got prepped and before I knew it I was ready to start pushing again. They performed an episiotomy and were going to assist baby boys deliver via ventouse suction. Within another few surges, my midwife told us she could see babys thick dark hair, I looked up at Jack who was crying with every emotion possible - with that, I gave it my all. I listened to my body, I breathed through every surge - and at 11.23am on 9th May our beautiful Charlie Jack was born. It was hands down the most incredible, nerve wracking, special and empowering moment of my entire life. He was here... at last.

So, to wrap it up - things didn't go to plan, but with the digital pack, setting our scene, having the most amazing NHS staff (I will forever be grateful), knowing how to listen to my body, and having each other, Jack you are my rock more than ever, - we still managed to have an incredibly positive birth. x

Thank you Siobhan, from the bottom of my heart.

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