23 Oct 2017

Introducing Baby Burrage || The Birth Story

Everyone, meet the center of my universe, baby Albie. The tiny human I nurtured and grew inside me for 9 long months, only for him to come out looking exactly like his Dad.

Bloody typical. Seriously, if I hadn't given birth to the little critter I'd question if he was mine.

Albie 'popped' (ha) into the world on 4th September 2017 at 19:23, weighing a chunky 8lb 7oz. He was born 6 days over his due date, but with a labour that lasted little longer than 5 hours, he definitely made up for it.

Here's his birth story.

There I was, day 10 of maternity leave, fed up beyond belief with waiting. Fed up of thinking 'this is it' every time I experienced a new sensation, a new ache, pain, or anything that could be an indicator that labour was imminent.

I'd started to accept that I was destined to be like Bonnie in Family Guy - preggo forever.

It was around 2pm when I started experiencing short bursts of sharp pain in my lower back. Initially I put it down as one of those annoying pregnancy niggles that I was overfamiliar with. I'd had similar pains the night before and they had eased off to nothing, much to our disappointment.

However, by 2:40pm they were occuring every 5 minutes, lasting approx 30 seconds a pop. They were becoming extremely painful, especially at their peak.

Luckily in my antenatal class I was made aware that contractions aren't always felt in the abdomen, with approx 1/4 women experiencing it in their lower backs and/or hips.

Yup, I was experiencing true labour contractions in the bottom of my back, and my god, they were all-consuming: each time I felt one on it's way I had to stop whatever I was doing to focus on breathing through the pain. I even bit my arm a few times in a desperate bid to distract myself.

By 15:15 I told Ed to make his way home as the contractions were occurring every few minutes and were around a minute long each.

Ed waltzed in some 30-40 minutes later to find me on the landing, hunched up on all fours like some primal animal. The look on his face was priceless. Y'see, they like to make you believe, especially as a first-timer, that your labour will be a slow, gruelling process that will span on for many hours.

It was obvious at that this wasn't going to be the case for me. I wasn't gonna be waddling up and down the hospital corridor for hours. Nor would I be in the corner of the labour suite bouncing on one of those balls in a bid to get things moving.

Albie wanted out, and fast.

Here's where it gets a little TMI and gross..

I felt a slight warm, wet sensation 'downstairs', so in between contractions I dared to take a peek. There was blood -  a fair bit of thick fresh blood - that had managed to seep through onto my leggings.

This triggered alarm bells. Was I ok? More importantly, was the baby ok? Shit, I never expected this to happen here, at home. I made Ed call the hospital to let them know we would be coming in shortly.

After he had answered the midwife's questions, she asked to speak to me - only to ask me the same bloody questions. Her advice? After everything I'd told her? To stay at home, RELAX (if the patronising woman had been in front of me at the time my fist would have met her nose) and take some, wait for it, paracetemol.

Now I'm no medical expert, and I'm aware that midwives are over stretched and probably get women turning up way before the main event but I knew my time was limited.

Unless I wanted to give birth on my bathroom floor, I needed to get to that hospital, pronto.

Trusting my gut, I rang back and forcefully told them I was on my way.

After a v. slow, stop-start-stop-start walk down the winding corridors of the hospital (why we used the main entrance to go to the labour ward I'll never know) I was met by a midwife who was expecting me.

Because of the bleed, I was taken into an examination room where I was strapped up to a fetal heart rate monitor and given a button to push each time I felt the baby move.

After 30 mins they came back to read the results. From the graph that had been produced they told me that a) I was in active labour and b) baby's heart rate wasn't consistent. It had dropped once within the half hour. This meant I had to be monitored for another 20 minutes or so.

Unfortunately, the same thing happened again so they called in the doctor to examine me and find out how things were progressing 'down there'. Why they didn't do this in the first place still baffles me.

So yeah, after a quick prod and poke in and around my hoohah the doctor told me I was already 7cm dilated and that he'd be surprised if the baby wasn't here in less than 2 hours.

...And then went my waters.

This is where things get a little fuzzy around the edges. I vaguely recall being escorted into the delivery room where I was asked if I wanted any gas and air (erm, does a bear shit in the woods?) I was then told that nope, no time for my planned water birth. Gutted.

My Mum arrived shortly after I'd aquainted myself with the hospital bed. This is when Ed made a mad dash out to renew his parking ticket - I know right?!

Anyway, had he been gone any longer he would have missed the arrival of his son. Shortly after he left the building I announced that I wanted to push, hard. Well no, my actual words were that it felt like I needed a really big poo, lovely...

The next stage, the actual pushing the baby out stage lasted only 7 minutes. I actually found the pain of pushing less intense then the late stage contractions, which felt like my back was on fire. I just felt a slight burning - where my nether regions were stretching to allow baby out - and a dull ache in my pelvis.

Unfortunately Albie's heart ratedropped below the safe level again so extra measures had to be taken to get him out as quickly as possible. So, alongside my pushing a suction cup (kiwi) was placed on his head. I also had a second degree episiotomy (I was given a local anesthetic and then cut to make more room, lol) and was joined by a whole host of medical professionals, all on standby ready to intervene if needed. It was quite scary.

As soon as the head was visible I was told to take short, panting breaths to allow the rest of the body to pass slowly, to avoid more damage - to me, not him. This bit was a breeze compared to what I'd experienced in the hours before.

And that was it. Baby Albie was born.

As the warm, slimy newborn was placed on my chest I felt an immense, indescribable sense of relief. The pain immediatelystopped and was replaced by a feeling of overwhelming love and pride.

I'd just birthed a baby. Nothing compares.

Ed then cut the cord and everything else between then and bringing our little bundle of joy home was a blur of emotions.

Yes the birth didn't go to plan and the were a bugger to heal but on the whole it was a positive experience and we were lucky things went as smoothly as they did.

I'm also extremely grateful that it all happened so fast. Ok, so it was a shock for both me and Albie (they reckon the speed at which the labour progressed is what caused his dips in heart rate) but it meant that it was over quickly and that I wasn't completely drained of energy.

In fact, we were all signed off as healthy and ready to go home in less than 24 hours. Incredible when you think about it.

Now, 7 weeks on I can say, hand on heart that I could do the whole labour thing again. My mum had told me that giving birth is a different sort of pain and as it turns out, she was 100% right.

Besides, the fun really begins when you bring them home. More on that coming soon.

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