Once we arrived on Monday after being seen to the SANDs room especially for bereaved parents we were informed the doctors wanted us on delivery suite. As we walked through they told me a woman was labouring next door to us and oh joy we got to share a bathroom!
We were informed that as parents having lost a baby we got free tv! We had no interest in watching the Tv but accepted gratefully.
Around 11am they inserted first pessary and said to lie down for half an hour then I was good to sit up and move around.
We decided after a few hours of not a lot happening and being left alone by staff we would watch telly. As the hours passed and increased pressure in my previous scar area we turned the Tv volume up due to fact baby’s were being born left right and centre.
You try be happy for them who knows what they’re going through maybe they were birthing their rainbow baby, maybe they were scared something would go wrong, maybe it was their first child but it was hard hearing those beautiful bleats knowing your baby would never utter a single sound.
At 2.45pm I got the 2nd pessary. We got given lunch despite not ordering anything and continued watching bad tv to drown out happy noises.
The pressure was getting more and more along with some pain but nothing that indicated things were moving very fast. As this wasn’t a live birth there wasn’t much need to check me provided I didn’t start bleeding.
Around 5pm I felt the need to empty my bowels. Sorry for too much info at this point but its relevant to my birth. After I had been the pain intensified threefold it was a very sudden crank up of pain and I had also passed the largely undissolved 2nd pessary from 2 hours earlier meaning it hadn’t aided the faster pace at all.
We had asked for pain relief and the midwife expressed surprise the pessary hadn’t dissolved and was amazed how sudden my pain had grown within half an hour. The codeine and paracetamol they gave me did nothing the pain was too much by this point and I couldn’t move nor keep still and my dinner was left uneaten.
I asked for something stronger.
I found crouching down was fairly comfy but then I felt a pressure and I was frightened it was the baby. So I stood back up I wasn’t ready for hello and goodbye just yet. You are probably reading thinking silly woman you can’t stop a baby coming from simply standing up and shutting your legs!
I soon felt something wanting to exit so had to take off my underwear to a HUGE clot appearing on the floor. Phew it wasn’t the baby but WOW what a clot. It was easy the size of my palm. Followed 2 more clots and the pain vanished.
I got a respite for about 20 minutes at this point I still had no pain relief and thought hmm ok maybe I was being dramatic and I can hold off needing it. At 5.55pm the pain came back and I was in agony. A 2nd midwife had gone to seek pain relief and just after 6pm I got the sweet relief of hospital drugs.
I had opted to have diamorphine. Largely because I didn’t know a lot about any drugs I could have and I didn’t want an epidural. Very quickly I felt woozy and lightheaded. I got onto the bed and was handed gas and air. I thought why not this is MY birth and if I want to feel high I will.
Many say they remember little after having diamorphine and they regret this. I didn’t know of this till after my birth however I never got that effect. Time did pass very quickly but I was fully aware of the time. I wasn’t quite sure why but at the time I was obsessed with knowing the time at every step and now I’m grateful I was.
By 8pm the pain had stepped up again. I was using the gas and air a lot more and I was starting to move around the bed not being able to get comfy. My partner informed the midwife of this when she came to check so they popped in and out at this point.
I decided I needed to be on all fours but found it difficult with the drugs still effecting me and the pain to do so. I started to feel a pressure thinking I needed a wee. So I got myself onto all fours so I could lower off the bed to pop to the loo.
Instead I got a massive contraction and liquid gushed out and kept on gushing. In the low light it looked red. My partner panicked and fetched the midwife thinking I was bleeding a lot. It wasn’t. I’ve since read its very common in a stillbirth for the amniotic fluid to appear red.
Once the mess I made was cleared I popped to the loo. Not surprisingly the urge had eased considerably. At this point the pain had disappeared again. I thought ah ok well judging by last time we’ve still a few hours yet.
Once settled back in bed with my trusty gas and air it was approx. 845pm and I was getting mild pains again but nothing major. The midwives were ready but thought maybe it was time yet.
I started to get more and more pain again and this time was a lot worse than had been. I felt Elva slowly descend and started crying because when are you ever ready to meet your baby dead before she was born.
The staff had gone to get me more drugs and I could feel Elva’s head bulging in my cervix. I told my partner I can feel her right there but didn’t ask for him to get anyone. I thought I could hold her in a bit longer. So every time I felt pressure I squeezed like I was holding a wee in but that just made my pain worse.
At 915pm I admitted defeat and tried to push a little. When I pushed the pain eased but Elva wasn’t appearing so I felt safe to push a little. At this point the midwife still hadn’t brought my drugs but another midwife was getting the delivery pack ready.
930pm the most intense, beautiful, scariest, saddest and happiest thing happened that I’ve ever experienced. Out came Elva Isobel all 600g of her. Slimy arms and legs falling out with no pain whatsoever. Just as she appeared the drugs arrived with the midwife and the other midwife was like ooooh.
The midwife joked I no longer needed pain relief as she was too late and my partner smiled at me asking if I was ok and had the drugs worked. The silly thing hadn’t realised his daughter was here. I whispered twice she is here. He was shocked.
The silence that filled the room was not deafening, it was not out of place. It was almost beautiful to me, however he was waiting for the cry he had hoped they were wrong and he said he waited for her to blink to make a noise to be back with us.
Hours earlier he had reminisced about our 2nd born. He was born silently via csection 2 years earlier. After what seemed a life time he screamed and cried. My partner said that was awful that silence I never want to go through that again. At time I thought that was rather strange considering the circumstances but also its easy to forget in the moment why you’re there.
Now as Elva laid on the bed waiting for the midwife to catch up with events my partner sobbed. Loudly. In the 10 years I’ve known him I’d only seen him cry once before and that was silent tears. The midwives were shocked also as I was smiling eager to meet my baby girl. Not a single tear came from me.
The situation was suddenly very real to him now. Guilt descended like a wave crashing over me.
Elva was born with her eyes open. One eye was bloodshot slightly so bulged a little at birth. This had shocked him he hadn’t prepared himself like I had. He hadn’t known how. For years I’ve been around baby loss mums. I’ve seen baby’s born still of many gestations. I hadn’t know what my child would look like but I knew I was prepared for anything. I was ready for the silence because my body knew. I had carried her for 3 days knowing she couldn’t be saved, I had felt the movements and I felt the lack of them for those 3 days. I had made a very tiny gown for her knowing it may be too big.
When she was handed over it sunk in a little more. Here was my silent beauty who I had grew for 6 months who I had feared would never come to be with us because of my anxiety and here was my fear realised in the flesh. Still I didn’t cry.
We marvelled how she had her eldest brothers chin, the cute button nose all our baby’s have, her daddy’s big toe and her mummy’s cheek bones. I was in love I had met my tiny beauty put a face to a name and I didn’t want to let go.
The midwife was fab she allowed daddy to cut the cord, weighed our baby and they got us a moses basket to place her in to carry her back to our private room.
Then I started throwing up … lots! Thankfully at this point I had handed baby to daddy so I didn’t spray anyone. After a shower and more throwing up I was given an anti sickness medicine which thankfully worked straight away.