Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Birth Stories Part I

Massive, with 3 months to go!
I'm not a massive fan of reading birth stories, but I know the boys enjoy hearing about this momentous moment in their lives, so for the record:
Zac's arrival!
Zac's due date was the 29th December 2006. I didn't want to be teaching right up until the birth, especially since the Christmas term is always full-on hectic, so I stopped at the October half term. I was already pretty enormous as you can see from this pic taken at the Eden Project that half term holiday. I had a lovely peaceful time watching day time tv, having little snoozes, eating lots of porridge and trying not to feel too terrified about the massive change our lives were about to go through.
As my pregnancy had progressed I'd got thrombocytopoenia (no idea how to spell it!) which means low platelets in pregnancy and affects your blood's ability to clot. I had to keep having blood tests and as they dropped below 100 I had a meeting with the hospital anesthetist who said that I wouldn't be able to have an epidural and if I had to have a caesarian it would be under general anesthetic. I hoped everything would go smoothly, but I didn't really think about an ideal birth, I was happy to take whatever advice I was given.
Me and my sister-in-law Christmas 2006
Christmas came and went. Martin attempted to stay sober enough for a quick dash to hospital and I stupidly wished the baby would be a bit late so their birthday wasn't right on Christmas. On my due day I had a check-up. It was clear the baby wasn't in any hurry to arrive and the midwife finally agreed that Martin's dating of the pregnancy might be more accurate and that my due date should have been a week later. A week later, still no sign of movement. I'd put on over 3 stone during my pregnancy and was now pretty fed up with feeling like a whale. Putting shoes on had become one of the biggest physical challenges I'd ever endured! We went and got white duck to keep our other duck "Kylie" company, and as a temporary baby substitute. Another week on and I had a stretch and sweep- with no effect.
On the evening of 19th January, three whole weeks after my original due date, I went into Bath hospital to be induced. It was really horrible! They induced me and within what felt like moments I was getting really strong contractions. My platelets had dropped to 50 which meant there was no chance of a water birth, which I had contemplated. I got wheeled upstairs onto a ward full of ladies with new babies and Martin got sent home for the night. After not very long at all I wasn't coping with the pain and they took me back downstairs and gave me some pethadin. Longest night ever. The drug made me drowsy between contractions but each one was really painful and at about 5 minutes apart so I didn't really get any sleep.
Martin arrived the next morning and they took me into a delivery suite and gave me gas and air which was heaven. Then I laboured all day with not much sign of progress. I remember being quite cheerful about the whole thing, even when a doctor tried to take a blood test and managed to spurt blood everywhere.
Eventually, on the evening of the 20th, they decided to do an emergency caesarian. I felt really relieved. Watching the heart monitor I could see the baby's heart rate dropping to practically nothing each time I had a contraction which was pretty scary.
How do people have glamorous post-birth pictures??
They wheeled me off to theatre and I remember saying, "Where's the machine that goes PING!?" (Monty Python reference) and starting to count down from 10, then nothing.
When I came round I was in a dark room with tubes coming out all over me and a baby in a clear plastic crib by the bed. I was still really hazy. Martin told me it was a boy and I wasn't at all surprised because we'd all thought he would be.
Zachary Hugh Broomfield. 8lb1oz. He was perfect.
Because I'd had to have a general anesthetic poor Martin wasn't allowed to be at the birth but had been stuck in a poky room waiting for news and fearing the worst, and then a midwife had come along the corridor with a new baby and said, "Here's your daddy!" and handed him our little bundle. I did feel sad that neither of us had been around to witness his entrance into the world, but I was also just grateful he'd made it safe and sound.
Because of the c-section we had to stay in for a few days. Being in hospital was not great. The delivery staff had been absolutely brilliant but the after care nurses were clearly run off their feet and didn't have a lot of time for anyone. Luckily Zac seemed to know how to feed right from the off, so I basically lay with him on me for three days with little interference from anyone else. So much for not being able to bond if you don't have that instant skin-to-skin contact. I was all tubed-up and wobbly so I couldn't get up to put him down, which was lovely. The downside was, you had to go to the cafe if you wanted any lunch, which being impossible for me meant I was pretty starving by supper time. Luckily I had Martin's "waiting for the birth" snacks which he hadn't eaten and then a friend brought in a hamper of goodies which I scoffed too!
One week on and a bit more normal!

Before Zac was born I worried about everything. I was terrified of small babies and whenever a friend had handed me one I'd had to sit down in a chair first and still felt convinced I would somehow drop it. I worried about how to pick my baby up right, supporting its head; I worried about whether I would be able to feed it, how to bath and dress it without causing serious injury etc etc. Once he'd arrived I felt really calm. It all seemed completely natural. It was brilliant to bring him home.


  1. Found your blog through #PoCoLO- such a nice post! I was the same, as the first among my friends to have a baby, I'd held one baby before having my first! When they're yours you feel so comfortable and natural with them. Such a lovely way to remember his birth-such a gorgeous little man!


    1. Thank you! Funnily enough now my two are both older I've reverted to feeling pretty terrified if someone hands me a new baby, so I think you're right- it's different when they're yours.

  2. Great post! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Awww bless you it must of been terrifying! i thought mine was bad enough! I had a emergency section too and the after care staff were the same with me. I loved the time bonding afterwards too xx

    1. Being officially allowed to sit in a chair and not do housework for a couple of weeks is definitely a bonus of the c-section route, and perfect for baby bonding too. Mind you, I was relieved to have a natural birth second time round- not sure how you cope with a toddler post op!

  4. Aw I was induced too, it was the worst thing I have ever had done! I am afraid I love reading birth stories so enjoyed this, and glad everything was OK in the end! Isn't it strange how everything sort of 'fits in' and all that worrying you had before, well you just get on and do it without thinking! #pocolo

    1. Being induced was definitely the worst bit. I didn't feel at all prepared for how quickly things progressed. I was v glad when baby number 2 decided to arrive without being asked!!

  5. I always love a birth story and this is no exception :). I always realise how lucky I was with Grace and I'm sorry you had a difficult one. Zachary is a beautiful name and I'm sure he was well worth it. Thanks for linking to PoCoLo lovely xx

    1. Thank you! It actually made me tearful writing this. I definitely think you block out any negatives about birth once you've got your new baby and it's only when you really think about what you went through that you realise how scary it actually was. x