My Positive Birth Story
👶🏻 Grace Adele
📆 1st March 2019 ⏰ 13.18 pm
📏 3.2 kg (7 lbs) & 50cm
💊 tens machine, paracetamol, gas & air epidural, spinal, forceps
I know it’s a while since I gave birth but I wasn’t ready and probably strong enough to share my experience.
The reason I’ve decided to tell it is because I really hope my story can be helpful for anyone faced with a situation similar to mine and as I found hearing others valuable at the end of my pregnancy☺️
So here is my birth story!
My plan was to stay home for as long as possible by using the help of the tens machine to relieve the contraction pain before going to the hospital for a water birth delivery.
Well, all of that didn’t happen and the plan went completely out the window!
Thursday 28 February’19
I woke up at 6 am and felt like I had pee on myself, my waters had broken.
We called the hospital and the midwife said to go there without any rush as I didn’t have any contractions.
I started calling our families in Italy and my mom jumped on the first plane to London.
After many checks at the hospital they sent me home as my contractions were irregular and very mild.
So we continued our day pretending ”nothing was happening“: I took a long nice shower, we had a lovely brunch and we watched our favourite movies. Now that I know how everything finished I can say that this was the biggest mistake I made, I should’ve rested more at this point.
When the contractions started to get stronger I put the tens machine on and I bounced on my birth balls while chatting to my boyfriend and listening the hypnobotrhin playlist. (From the Positive Birth Company)
Around 7pm the contractions were closer, stronger and I started to throw up every time I had one. I was running out of energy already so we got my overnight bags and we went to the hospital. Once there the midwife examined me and I was only 2cm, she gave me some paracetamol and she let us stay because she notice how exhausted I was.
Between 10pm and 2am I used the tens machine to help me with the pain until I could handle it anymore. I was so weak and powerless at this point, I didn’t even have the strength to stand on my legs.
At 2am, I started to push involuntarily, but was too early for pushing, I was only 4cm dilated!
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We opted for the epidural, I felt a real relief with it and finally I was able to rest a bit. Unfortunately despite the epidural the pains of the contractions were back, slighter easier than before but still very present.
The epidural was topped up several times but it worked on only one side of my body but not so good on the other one. The midwife gave me gas and air to help me handle the pain during the contraction. (I think I slightly abused it 🤪, because I started laughing at everything 😂)
During this time my cervix softened and dilated very slowly up to 9cm but then all stopped again. I stayed to 9cm for several hours even the drip to help the dilation didn’t have any effect.
At this point I was so exhausted, so I asked my boyfriend to make decisions for me, I couldn’t even think because of how tired I was.
He really surprised me, he was so supportive and encouraging than I ever could have imagined. He handled everything so amazing, I couldn’t not have done it without him.
Friday 1st March ‘19
12pm - Without any progression on the dilation (still 9cm) the doctor decided to move us to the theatre and asked if we were happy to use the vacuum extractor, if necessary, or to proceed with a c-section in case I hadn’t been 10cm dilated.
We were quite scared about the vacuum extractor but they all insured us that was safe and with very minimal complication so we agreed.
I can remember exactly how I felt when in was in the theatre. I was on my own with all these doctors, my boyfriend was preparing himself for joining me there, but I didn’t realise that! So I was panicking looking for him but I couldn’t see any faces because I didn’t have my glasses on! I was so scared! (Then he arrived of course 😅)
The spinal caused me a strong nausea and a horrible headache, I felt like my head was going to explode! They gave me some medicine, probably very strong because in a few seconds everything disappeared.
Like magic, I was finally at 10cm and ready to push! All I remember is my boyfriend telling me to push and that we were finally close to see our baby. I don’t know how I pushed as I couldn’t feel my bottom body, but I did! I pushed for one, two and the third l time I heard for the first time my baby crying, my Grace was out.
At 13.18 , after an epic 30 hours of labour, my little girl was finally on top of me, my boyfriend and I cried like two kids. It was such a exciting and indescribable moment, I still feel like crying while I’m writing and think about the amazing feeling we had.
When my boyfriend cut the cord I noticed he seemed worried. I asked him if was everything okay and he just told me that Grace had a “little” cut on her forehead due to the use of the forceps . I was quite shocked as I didn’t realised they use it and initially I didn’t even notice Grace injury as I was so dazed!
The midwife and the doctor insured us that the injury would be gone after few days, but obviously when you there and look at your baby it is hard to not worry.
Grace is now fine, she has beautiful skin and she is a happy and smart kid.
Initially, I was so disappointed in myself and I felt a hint of failure that I wasn’t strong enough to go through all of this without so much help. I cried so much when everything was finished and I continued to cry for weeks every time I was on my own, and now I’m sure this helped me so much to “throw it all out”.
It took a few weeks, almost a month to accept that everything I did, all the medicines and interventions I agreed to were necessary for my baby’s safe arrival.
Would I do it all over again to bring my baby to the world? Despite the pain, the scare, the exhaustion and the worries of the following weeks due to Grace’s injury I would say absolutely yes, because was the most incredible and empowering experience of our life❤️
I really hope my story can encourage you to stay positive when things are going the opposite of according to plan, you‘ve got this ladies! ❤️