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My very overdue birth story!

Dec 05, 2012 - 15 comments

Well, I fully intended to get this written months ago but the time just has disappeared since Saffi's arrival!!

It all began 11 days earlier than my due date on 14 August.. I had just got home from an appointment at the hospital when the cramps started .. an hour later I realised that there had been 4 of them that hour and thought, hmmm .. could this be the beginning??  Well, I have to say that I really enjoyed the beginning of my labour, the periods between contractions I felt calm and awash with lovely endorphins and was chatting to a good friend who was giving me loads of tips.  My DH arrived home about 5 hours after the contractions began (I had told him I was fine and not to hurry) to find me screaming at the top of my voice and he panicked!!  I've never seen him like it .. running everywhere trying to get everything on our list done (I hadn't even finished packing).  I kept telling him I was fine and then another contraction would hit and I would be screaming all over again.

I phoned the birth centre around 8pm (9 hours after it had started) to say that although my contractions were still sporadic in time, they were now so powerful that I couldn't speak, stand or do anything but yell during them .. they told me that they needed to be less than 5 mins apart and regular .. well, some were 5 mins, some were 8 then 4 then 10 but they were so crazy full on that I knew I was progressing!

I tried to rest between but by midnight I was getting so tired but they just told me to get in the bath again and take painkillers .. I did this and screamed through the bath .. the neighbours must have got no sleep!!  then finally at 2am they were suddenly coming every 4 mins so we got the green light to go in.

When we arrived we were so happy we'd made the birth centre decision .. it was so nice and comfortable in there and really quiet too .. that is until I started yelling at the top of my lungs! After my exam where I was 4-5 cms dilated, I asked for pain relief and they said to try the shower first .. half an hour into being covered hot water from 3 shower heads (very nice) .. I got in the huge bath .. but the pain was really becoming unbearable so I got a morphine shot .. this was great as although the contractions were just as painful, I was able to relax inbetween .. my DH dosed beside me (queen bed) while I quietly talked to the wonderful midwife who was starting IVF ... it was a wonderful 3 hours!

She then examined me again and to our dismay, I was still only 4-5cms!!  I cried then .. I was so tired and to know that nothing had progressed over 4 hours was really upsetting .. our lovely midwife's shift ended then and we got an equally lovely one next who broke my waters and then made me start moving around .. I was sucking on the gas like no tomorrow and it was doing nothing .. the pain was off the chart!!  After another 4 hours of this I was crying with every contraction and couldn't believe it with the next exam that I still hadn't progressed .. this was the end of my birth centre experience

I was whisked through to the labour ward and I promptly begged for an epidural as they put me on a drip to speed things up .. all my natural birth ideas went out the window then after 24 hours of labour .. well, I have to say .. I needed it as they had to pump me full of syntocinon to get the contractions happening faster .. they upped the dose 4 times and told me each time that without the epidural this would have been incredibly painful .. I knew I had made the right decision then.  8 hours after being moved to the labour ward and getting the epi I was fully dilated and ready to push .. at this stage they were saying that Saffi was taking longer to recover from each contraction so I just wanted her out safely!! .. well, after what seemed like an eternity of pushing and pushing and nothing happening, they scanned me and discovered that Saffi was sitting posterier and her head was deflexed .. meaning it was bent back as far as she could get it .. they told me then that unless they could turn her manually, she wouldn't be able to come out the birth canal as she had wedged herself in by bending her neck back so far .. and they couldn't use vacuum or forseps as only her forehead was showing and they had to attach to the crown of the head.

Well, everything went into overdrive then, I was whisked through to theatre and prepped before they tried to manually turn her but when that didn't work, they had to push her back up the birth canal and then in what seemed like seconds, they had me open and she was here!  15 August 2012 at 7.21pm, 10 days early, Saffi Elizabeth Gumley entered our lives.

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by gilkesy, Dec 05, 2012
What a wonderful story! it brought tears to my eyes of the pain you went through and in the end received your little miracle. My birth story was nearly exactly the same e.g. screaming at the top of my lungs for hours on end, gas doing nothing, midwifes saying that i couldnt have the epi yet since it would delay my labour. I couldnt get through the contractions without screaming and all the other women in my ward heard me from down the hall! You brought back those vivid memories for me of the pain but also the miracle of birth when your Saffi finally arrived. Thankyou for sharing xxx

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by krichar, Dec 05, 2012
Such a beautiful story... Thank you for sharing :)

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by Moma_Cher, Dec 05, 2012
Oh my god Toni I had no idea it got so scary!!!! Thank goodness she was delivered safely after all that.

Reading how her head was deflexed brought such a vivid vision that evoked pure fright! We're you panicking? I think I woulda lost my sh!t if I were in your place. I think I need a Xanax after reading this lol. So do glad she is here safe and you finally have your beautiful family!!


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by tones99, Dec 05, 2012
I meant to write a bit more explaining how I felt but Saffi started crying then and we've been playing for a few hours.  Cheri I was starting to get concerned although everyone kept assuring me that she was only just beginning to show signs of distress and she was actually doing really well considering how long she'd been in that position!  I was just so so tired by that stage that it's all a jumbled mess of memories .. but I remember clearly how calm she was when they pulled her out .. just one cry and then there was silence .. I panicked then and yelled out 'why isn't she crying' and all the medical staff starting calling back .. she's fine .. your husband is talking to her and the second he started she shut up and just looked at him and listened .. they said that she recognised his voice .. that is when I lost it and started bawling my eyes out .. I only had a minute with her next to me before they had to whisk her away .. DH went too .. then there was what seemed an eternity of them fixing me up and then in recovery .. it was a total of 1.5 hours until I next saw her!  

The next few days are a blur of heavy pain meds as it was a struggle after no sleep for days and getting cut open!  I also really struggled in the first month at home with depression and anxiety but I am so thankful that I was so well looked after and got all the help I needed .. around 5/6 weeks, I realised that I was actually doing this and enjoying it!  I could be the mother that I had wanted to be .. I doubted myself so much in those early days!  Now there is always a challenge and its rare to have a completely easy day .. but the love I feel for Saffi grows every day and she continues to amaze and delight me.

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by krichar, Dec 05, 2012
I hear you loud and clear.... My situation once in the labor room was similar, but mine was an induction so I had the oxytocin right off the bat, but the pain was unbearable, I had my first boy with no meds( no time) but once your on those meds to speed up labor got contractions are on top of eachother, no time to relax. I really have no recollection of what was happening from the time they broke my water till I got my epidural. DH told me the nurse who covered for my nurses break was nasty and was telling me to suck it up but the pain was so bad I don't even remember her being there at all....

I am also happy saffi arrived safe and sound, at the end of the day it doesn't matter what our plans were as long as our little miracles got here safe and sound. :) <3

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by Sherri90049, Dec 06, 2012
Wow! That is some story, Toni! Thanks so much for sharing! I am so thrilled that she's here safe and sound and that you're doing better! Can't wait to meet her (& you) in person hopefully some day soon! Big hugs!!!!

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by sisi2399, Dec 06, 2012
Thanks for sharing my friend!!!! It took u a while but it was sooooo worth the wait.  Very beautiful

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by hopeitworks, Dec 06, 2012
Wow needless to say it was far from  uneventful but I am so happy to read evertything turned out perfect and from your pics she is perfection!!!!

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by tones99, Jan 23, 2013
just an update after meeting an amazing midwife at the weekend.  I was away for 4 days at friends wedding that everyone stayed on the same property for .. lots of fun with old friends and making new ones.  One of the new people I met there was this lovely lovely lady who I discovered was writing her thesus on the space you give birth in impacting on how you felt about the birth.  so I started regaling her on the details of Saffi's birth, having experienced it in many different spaces!  I got about half way through the story and was saying how intensely painful the contractions were and how they never became completely regular even after the drip etc and she said 'sounds to me like classic posterior, deflexed baby - a lot more painful, and crazy contraction intervals'. Well, I could have kissed her .. I have been feeling like a bit of a failure, just quietly .. I know I held out a long time before I had the epidural but I have a lot of friends who enjoyed their labour and treated the pain as a great part of it .. I have kept my feelings to myself but when I was talking to this midwife, realised that it really has been bothering me!  To have my story vindicated was amazing and I instantly regretted not discussing it earlier .. I had planned to have a debrief with the medical team but I don't think they would have known quite what it was that was bothering me.  I had read all the natural birth books and was convinced I could do it with minimal intervention.  My early labour was amazing .. I was loving how empowered I was feeling through the pain, but as the hours went on, I had a gut feeling that something wasn't right .. instead of the gradual progression in pain that I had heard so much about, my pain went from about a 3/4 to 9/10 in minutes .. the midwife told me that as Saffi actually started moving, and her position impacted that movement, that would have been when things started getting out of control pain wise.  I just feel so lucky to have met her and to have had this completion of my birth story!

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by krichar, Jan 24, 2013
One thing I know is you are not a failure, there always things beyond our control that need to be taken into consideration. I am so happy you were able to put a reason /definition :) just because you have an ideal doesn't mean it'll go that way especially with being put on a drip. I had my first son with no meds but it was a natural labor, didn't get to the hospital till I was 5-6cm.... This time around a WHOLE different story. I had seen so many on here feeling cheated and like failures for not following through their birth plans. I decided very early on I wasn't going to have one. For the safety of my baby I decided to have the epidural in case i needed an emergency C section (which I demanded right after they broke my water because the pain was unbearable) life doesn't always go as we planned it but it always works out the way it should :) at the end of the day you have a beautiful healthy happy little girl and if I had to guess you would do it all over again to have her here safe and sound :)

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by tones99, Jan 24, 2013
thank you honey ... I know everyone's experiences are different and I didn't have a hard and fast birth plan but all the same was disappointed that my early great experience got so out of control .. but now that I have that wonderful vindication I know there is no other way that this could have gone apart from ending badly .. just think, if this was 50 or so years ago, Saffi and I may really have been in danger!!

If I had another baby, I would definitely be more open minded to an epidural .. I had a friend who had her bub a few months after mine, and after hearing so many friends stories, she decided to be prepared for anything and then felt completely guilt free asking for an epi when things got tough and she had a wonderful birth experience .. mine was a bit tainted by getting that help so late so I was already so exhausted that I couldn't enjoy it as much as possible!

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by krichar, Jan 24, 2013
I was able to control the medication so I was still able to "feel" everything just not as brutally... And after he was born I was able to get up and walk so I wasn't completely numb :)

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by butterflybabies, Jan 24, 2013
Wow what a story! Glad it all ended well. I know I felt like during my c section like It wasn't me going thru it. Everything happens so fast in there!

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by tones99, Jan 24, 2013
krichar I had to have my epi topped up so I didn't feel anything due to her position and then the c-section so I was quite numb and took a while to get over it!

Lily I know that feeling!  I feel like I was above myself watching a lot of it even though I couldn't see one thing that was happening on the other side of the curtain!  It moved at lightening speed once they decided that she had to come out then painfully slow once she had gone off to be weighed etc and I was being patched up!

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by krichar, Jan 24, 2013
Oh I know :) I was saying for next time ;)

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