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Iggy's Home Birth (cross-posted from DDC) - Birth Stories

Old May 8th, 2010, 05:29 AM   #1

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Iggy's Home Birth (cross-posted from DDC)

Five days after his birth and I am finally getting the opportunity to type up little Iggy's birth story! Even with three of us looking after him, it's pretty much a 24/7 affair - especially for me as I'm the only one who can feed him!

I started to lose my mucus plug on Thursday the 29th April - but wasn't getting noticeable BH contractions. I'd have maybe 3 or 4 a day but they were the equivalent of my uterus making a weak & pathetic "Peh!" and I didn't feel they were likely to be a build up to anything! I had a lot of cervical pressure and discomfort that bordered on pain - but not enough to want to take pain killers or use a hot water bottle.

I didn't get any contractions that had any real strength or discomfort to them until the Sunday afternoon/evening. Some time after 4pm I started to get the occasional one that I actually noticed if I wasn't looking out for it & started to hope that things were happening!

By the time I sat down to watch my favourite TV program at 7:15pm they were picking up in frequency and intensity enough for me to time them and they were 5 mins apart (sometimes 4 mins, sometimes 6 but usually 5 - it was hard to pin-point exactly where they started.)

I got a hot water bottle as they were starting to feel like my first day of AF cramps (which are painful) and took some Paracetamol (I think that's like your Tylenol, or whatever the one that is safe in pregnancy is).

It's an hour long program and by the end I couldn't focus on it, I got up and rang the midwife, who didn't seem to feel too hurried with me being a first timer and able to talk through them even though I preferred not to - and she said someone would call me back in half an hour.

We got the flat ready and about 25 mins later I got a call from the midwife who was on shift who said she'd pop round in half an hour and check me but that things might peter out and stop and not to be too surprised if that happened.

She turned up around 50 mins later and it was obvious that she expected to examine me and go away again, as still, although the contractions were like very bad AF cramps, I could talk through them if I needed/wanted to. She was a bit surprised to discover that I was already 5cm dilated!

I ran a bath while she got the stuff out of her car and was very glad to get into it as it helped a lot with the contractions. I was probably in there for an hour or so and the contractions started to get a lot more painful and harder to deal with. I found myself swearing and going 'Owww!' a couple of times and involuntarily arching my body as I tried to relax.

On two occasions I jumped out of the bath quickly as I felt I really needed to poo and I didn't want to risk doing that in the bath and needing to wait while it filled up again! In retrospect, I think my waters probably went on one of those two occasions as we didn't notice them go & the bath water was clear and I think I'd have noticed when I was on the toilet if they'd gone. It's most likely that they went in a gush as I jumped up mid-contraction and I didn't notice it amongst the water running off me from the bath.

I was starting to feel that this would be very difficult and the midwife offered me the gas & air which I gratefully accepted - and I decided to labour on the toilet in case I needed to poo, which I still felt was a possibility. I got through about half a tank (it felt like around 10-15 minutes) and then had a couple of contractions where I felt I really wanted to push.

Again, the midwife examined me but you could tell she thought I wouldn't have made much progress - but it turned out I was fully dilated with the baby starting to descend and already at +1 so I was moved into the front room!

I was disappointed that I wasn't allowed the gas & air for pushing (maybe I could have had it if I had insisted but she told me not to take it and I listened as I appreciated that I needed to concentrate on breathing!) I insisted on holding on to the mouthpiece though as it made it easier to have something to squeeze on during contractions (and DH was very happy that I used that rather than his hand!) The second midwife arrived not long after.

So, the 'active labour' part with the dilating took just under three hours by the midwife's calculations, nice & speedy. However, after that, things started to drag a bit.

Unfortunately I am rather tight down there and the tissues just didn't want to stretch. We tried shifting positions and all sorts. Normally they only let you push for two hours but, as baby's heartbeat was good and strong (they monitored it after every contraction) they let me carry on as they knew I wanted a home birth and didn't want an episiotomy.

However, as it started to near the three hour mark, she told me that I was starting to swell up down there and it wouldn't be possible to get the baby past if that happened. I appreciated that and I also knew she'd given me nearly an hour longer than she'd ideally have liked in order for me to try and do it without a cut - so I agreed to the episiotomy.

She gave me a local anesthetic, though the injection didn't feel like it did too much to be honest! I didn't feel pain from the cut as she did it mid-contraction and the pain from that was uppermost.

Unfortunately, it wasn't quite enough & after several more contractions she had to do a second, larger cut to get the baby out - but thankfully that one worked and after a contraction or two I felt him slither out and they put him on my tummy. He was born just after 4am on Monday 3rd May.

I could hear him bawling his lungs out the minute he appeared so I knew he was OK!

I had wanted to birth the placenta naturally but, because they couldn't stitch me back up until I'd done so, they needed to give me the drugs to speed it up & it took two doses (which I think were two different drugs) and it still took probably around half an hour for it to come out.

I was allowed to have the gas & air again as she stitched me back up & after only having half a cylinder during the birth itself, I got through a cylinder & a half in the twenty minutes or so she was stitching me up!

I felt pretty out of it what with the gas & air - and, more probably, the drugs for the placenta delivery. I felt queasy for around 12 hours afterwards & was too tired or groggy to feel any immediate magical 'bond' with my baby (the bonding has come afterwards). Mum said that is normal (and she had two home births) so I thought I'd share that in case anyone feels short-changed at not having that if their birth plan alters!

I'm pleased that there would have been a minimum of drugs going through to the baby though and very pleased that I got a home-birth. The midwives both said that if I'd been in hospital I'd have had the episiotomy and it would have been a forceps delivery (which would probably have led to a tear on top of the cut).

The pushing stage, although it went on for three hours, was actually easier than the later stage of contractions, as the pushing helps with the pain. I made some grunting noises but that was from the force I was putting in to try and get the baby out!

The midwives were impressed with my stamina and said I was clearly a very determined lady to push for that long!

So yes, all in all, the birth wasn't too bad. Very painful but not as bad as I'd expected, I didn't scream once or feel any desire to do so.

Recovery has been very painful. After three hours of pushing & a double episiotomy, my lady bits swelled up like a balloon and the swelling is only just starting to go down so that now it's mainly around the incisions/stitches & it's starting to sting rather than feel bruised. I think that would be the case wherever I'd given birth though!

I'd definitely go for a home birth again. Though next time I'd probably give in to the episiotomy earlier as it wasn't as bad as I'd feared - and I'd also buy or hire a birthing stool in case that helped, as that might be enough, if I remain a little looser down there, to get a baby out without a cut next time.

Anyway, the little one is starting to stir and will probably need feeding shortly (nipple pain makes me exclaim more than labour pains did!) so I'm going to make sure I'm ready for him! Hope this is of help or interest to anyone else planning on a home or (largely) natural birth.


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Old May 9th, 2010, 12:05 PM   #2
earthy, crunchy, smarmy!

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thanks so much for sharing. it sounds like you had a wonderful birth and great midwives who listened to you!


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(cross-posted, birth, ddc), home, iggy's
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