Bloody love a good birth story I do.
Problem is writing about my own personal pregnancies and some births is still not yet something I can do. I will one day because writing is my therapy and it helps to heal.
This story though I can tell you because it’s like some kind of badly written sitcom.
It’s small girl’s 10th birthday this week. Everything with this pregnancy was different. I was the model patient . As a bit of background I have suffered with ridiculously high blood pressure through all 4 pregnancies. As an extra bit of background I am an absolute big baby with pain and hospitals and doctors and nothing , I repeat nothing terrifies me more than needles . If it’s at all possible to escape needles I will run away. If it’s inevitable…well I’ll still probably try to run away. I’ll cry and beg no. I’ll vomit , I’ll faint . It’s not a pretty sight at all. I know how irrational it is but then most phobias are aren’t they.
OK , on with the story….
So here I am at 36 weeks pregnant. My blood pressure has played ball relatively well but I’m still seeing a consultant as they want to keep a close eye on it . I have a community midwife check up so off I toddle to have heartbeat listened to and blood pressure checked. Midwife checks the blood pressure ,declares her machine must be broken as it cannot possibly be that high and to come back at the end of the week. I do mention my history with blood pressure but she insists no it can’t possibly be . I’ve had none of the symptoms of pre eclampsia I’ve had previously so leave it there and go about my business.
Next day I’ve GP check up and this is where the nuttiest day begins.
Have a chat how I’m feeling , listen to heartbeat , drop off pee sample and off I go into town to do a bit of shopping. On the bus home I’m feeling all horribly uncomfy as you do .Like all my internal organs are being compressed into a too small space which I guess they are . My phone rings and it’s my GP in a bit of a flap telling me to stop what I’m doing and immediately get to the hospital. There is a lot of protein in my urine and I’m an old hand enough to know what this means….and it’s not good.
I rock up to the day unit where they tell me to just lay on the bed and collect any urine should I need to go in a big old jug!!Sounds pretty gross but hey these people know best . Just for a few hours then I can go home if things settle a little. I can’t have been laid on this bed longer than 20 mins when a Health Care Assistant comes over to ask if I’m on my own. I found this a bit of an odd question which kind of answered itself but replied I was for her to answer
“OK then let’s go!”
“go where ?”
“Delivery suite ”
(Hold up what now??? I’m meant to be here starting a one woman urine collection….we don’t need a delivery suite for that”)
“but why ?”
“they’re gonna induce you , has no one spoken to you? ”
(Look at this face ….does this look like the face of a woman in the loop??)
“I’m not doing that”
Now my hospital,pain , needle issues manifest themselves in toddler like behaviour. Stamping feet , refusal to do what I’m told and generally behaving like an idiot without the slightest bit of shame. It’s total fear that has me behave this way.
Some lovely doctor finally comes over and cajoles me into going to the delivery suite and just taking it from there. I kinda know I’m being conned here , noone goes THERE for a manicure and a chat but it’s less public than a ward so I can flip out in relative privacy. Calm , sweet doctor then says how my blood pressure is dangerously through the roof they must deliver asap as that’s the only way it’ll come down. I simply tell her no ,this isn’t happening I am not having a baby today no chance . I’m not ready ,I’ve nothing with me and I’m not mentally prepared to have my vagina ripped to shreds today . So thanks bit no thanks. Calm lovely doctor smiles and leaves .
I’m laid on yet another bed , monitor on in the delivery suite plotting how I can best make my escape. Don’t think climbing out the window is feasible too high up…when the door opens .They have sent in the big guns. In walks the world’s best midwife and woman who has delivered the 3 elder ones. We already have a huge bond with that. I trust this woman .This is a sneaky trick to pull.
“If they’ve sent you in to talk me round it’s pointless”
“Look , this is very dangerous you know how serious pre eclampsia is . This baby needs to be born today or you could both die”
“OK have you ever personally had a woman die of this ”
“I have had a baby die though”
Shit. Real life hit me in the face and snaps me out of my egotistical toddler tantrum .
I have a cry at this point. A big cry . Then I ask if I have time to call my sister to come be here with me . They agree and world’s best midwife examines me to find actually my body has taken the lead on this one and I’m 4cm dilated already. TOLD you I was uncomfortable!!It’s getting to about 8pm now so I call my sis…she says she’ll be right here and HERE the fun begins…
Sister turns up and announces with breathtaking excitement how she told the taxi man to step on it and go as fast as he can as her sister is in labour and how she has ALWAYS wanted to say that! She’s so animated in her story telling and giddy and a great distraction…but hang on a minute ..is she drunk?!!!!
Trust you ,she says in front of the World’s Greatest Midwife , to go into labour on the ONE night I have a couple of glasses of wine !!! Oh shit she is ,she’s tipsy! Not as drunk as I am on gas and air mind. That stuff is good!! I decide I can entertain myself here with this situation. You know how heavenly the gaps between contractions are when the pain stops and you can talk again and you’ve never felt better (high on gas and air !) The midwife asks if she can get my sister coffee as they’ve been chatting as I’ve been teeth grindingly contracting.
“She’s only gone to get you coffee because you are drunk ” I absolutely lie to my sister . Sending her into a panic of how she’s only had a couple ’till I start giggling and she realises I’m just being a knob. She obviously had the last laugh as huge contraction followed and pushing season was declared.
The real hard work began there and other than shouting at my sister attempting distraction by asking I was going to spell Isabelle mid push (probably the only time in my adult life I’ve shouted “shut up” at her ) Isabelle (2 l’s and 1 e) was here before I knew it . Teeny tiny but super cute and absolutely ravenous!!There began a relationship with the quirkiest ,chattiest girl in the world.
Do you know what though? My Blood pressure did not return to normal after birth. We were stuck in hospital a week like Forrest Gump on that bench. We were in a high depency ward so there were only two beds but women would come and go and we’d still be stuck there. It actually took years for my blood pressure to return normal and the conclusion being it was outside influences possibly rather than medical that had caused it. Or outside influences made it an ongoing problem at least.
So there we are , writing about that it seems a blink of the eye ago but at the same time just so long. A story that could have been way more serious and awful but enough funny moments for me to be able to write it without freaking out!!!
This week celebrates a decade of Isabelle and for that I am incredibly grateful.
If anyone wants to hire my sis as birthing partner give me a call!!!