I know Bob is now 7 months old but it has taken me that long to be able to revisit what happened on the day she was born.  Still, even now, I have to remind myself that my labour wasn’t ‘the norm’; otherwise I would just sit in shock at the fact that there is a population!

After being treated for pre term labour I ended up being a week over due before my waters broke.  I had to question if it was the real deal after seeing many gushes in many films. At first I thought that I had lost bladder control.  It was only when my husband commented on the fact that I smelt like a portaloo (who says romance is dead) that I realised what was happening.  I went to the hospital and they confirmed that my waters had broken and, after discussing my options, I chose to return in 24 hours to be induced.

On the way home I began to worry.  Not about my impending doom but about the important things.  We didn’t have any snacks to take to the hospital!  My husband might starve whilst I was in labour!  I decided that we should pop to the supermarket.  Not my brightest idea!  There I am, walking around Morrison, wearing what can only be described as a nappy and leaking like a sieve.  All for the sake of some Haribo.

When we arrived home we began to load the car with hospital ‘essentials’.  I had been told that the process could take up to 3 attempts, each 6 hours apart, so we prepared ourselves for a long wait!  We returned to the hospital armed with puzzle books, films, games and a picnic.

Not wanting to look insane, we left most of our belongings in the car until we knew more about what was going to happen.  After examining me the midwife inserted the first gel and told my husband to go home, as it would be a while before anything happened.  She then left telling us that she would come to examine me again in 6 hours.  Luckily, he decided to stay and we walked to the car to fetch our kitchen sink.

I felt very prepared for labour and I was looking forward to the slow build up.  Having to deal with each contraction in turn as they gradually got stronger and closer together.  By the time I reached the car park I was having a strong contraction every minute.  I began to worry, thinking that I had underestimated labour and wondering how I would get through it if this were the calm before the storm.

We struggled back to the hospital and rang for help.  As my midwife was unavailable an assistant answered our call.  It was obvious she thought that I was a silly first time mum and she told me that I was panicking and offered me some pain relief. Paracetamol! I could have thrown them at her!

Left feeling silly and incapable, I tried my best to cope.  With my husband’s help I managed to get through the next hour but, when the contractions didn’t stop long enough for me to have a wee, I knew I needed help.  This time my midwife came to see what was wrong and, although she was sympathetic, she said it was too early for anything to be happening and told me to have a bath.  The water did ease the pain but it was still hard to bear. My midwife returned after what seemed like hours (I think it was about 30 minutes) and when she saw how frequent my contractions were she decided to examine me.  I was 5cm dilated.

Finally I could discuss pain relief, other than the trusty paracetamol.  I was hooked up to gas and air and for a short time I actually enjoyed my labour.  Yes the contractions were painful but I coped with them and I felt a sense of achievement with each one that passed.  I make sure I mention this to my friends who are yet to have children as I think this gave me a glimpse into how labour should be.  Bouncing on a birthing ball and laughing with my husband about how good the effects of Entonox were.  If only things could have continued this way.

After another hour I suddenly felt the need to push.  I was told to try not to and this was impossible!  In the end my midwife told me to go with it, as it was my body’s way of telling me that I was ready.  A further examination showed that my cervix had dilated fully at the back but there was a 3cm lip at the front.  They monitored my contractions and called for a doctor.  They were off the scale!  The doctor turned to the midwife and asked if she had ever seen anything like this before.  Very reassuring!

A second midwife and the sister on duty joined the already crowded delivery room and, feeling like I had my very own cheer leading squad, I attempted to push a 10cm head out of a 7cm hole.  That math’s just doesn’t add up!  My midwife then managed to stretch my cervix to 9cm but there was still a shortfall.

After a while Bob began to show signs of distress.  I had been pushing for quite some time and was dazed and confused to say the least.  My midwife began to remove my jewellery and put me in a gown.  ‘I know what you are doing,’ I sobbed.  ‘You’re sending me for a caesarean!’  She told me that they were just being prepared and asked my husband how I knew what was going on.  ‘One Born Every Minute,’ he replied.

I had not had an epidural and there wasn’t time to have one.  The doctor was against c-sections under general anesthetic and said he would only do this if it were absolutely necessary.  He took a sample of blood from Bob’s head and sent it to be tested to see just how distressed she was.  This came back very quickly and the doctor decided that it was safe to continue.  The 3 other professionals in the room obviously disagreed with his decision, which was very unnerving.

Trying to find a way to slow my contractions down the doctor asked the midwife for some Salbutamol.  As the birthing unit is separate from the main hospital they didn’t have access to any.  From my weary haze I picked up on their conversation and manage to come around long enough to say, ‘There’s one in my bag!’  What are the chances?  My asthma inhaler could be my saving grace.  Unfortunately this didn’t help.

As I only had 9cm to play with, Bob would move down as I pushed with each contraction but slip back the second I stopped pushing.  My team continued to cheer me on with comments including ‘You can do it!’ and ‘We’re all pushing with you!’ I very much doubted that!  The sister advised that I was given an episiotomy (a cut) to help.  My midwife began hacking away and then turned and said, ‘These scissors are blunt!’  Great!  After exchanging them for a sharper pair she resumed the procedure, only to be told by the sister that she was cutting in the wrong place!  Thank goodness I was too busy pushing!

Feeling like my face was going to explode with each push and struggling to get a grip on the backs of my legs due to the amount of sweat, I really thought that Bob was going to have to stay inside.  I turned to my husband and apologised.  I felt awful to think of what he had witnessed.  Unbelievably, after 5 and half hours of pushing, we did it!

Everybody had told me that, although labour is painful, the moment they put the baby on your chest you forget all about it.  This was not the case!  They lay Bob on me and I was that exhausted I didn’t even know she was there!  Bob didn’t cry.  She just lay there, taking shaky breaths, traumatised by the whole experience.  My husband kept saying how beautiful she was but he will now admit that at the time he didn’t really think so.  Our little cone head baby had been through more than we had.

They stitched me up with something that felt like garden twine and after a shower to remove the blood, tissue and poo (Bob’s not mine) I felt slightly more human.  Although I was still on another planet I knew that nothing could change the feelings I had for this tiny person.

Even though the experience was horrendous we now have a gorgeous baby girl, who has changed our lives for the better and I wouldn’t send her back for anything!  Especially not to where she came from!

 Posted by Charlotte on January 15, 2012 Pregnancy & Childbirth  Add comments

  35 Responses to “Let’s Start At The Very Beginning”


    Charlotte, congratulations on your first blog!!!

    It is beautifully written with funny bits too!! I know it was terrible for you but we are all glad you went through it as we now have the wonderful Molly!! haha.

    Here’s to many more wonderful blogs xx


    Hey this is really good Charlotte and no doubt will stir a lot of memories, most good but some bad in whoever reads it (also from the dad’s perspective too). Looking forward to the next posting. xx


    I thought I had a tough time! Well I did but at least mine was quick!
    You should get a very big medal!
    Cat x


    Well done on the blog Charlotte! My goodness – what a difficult birth you had, I don’t know how you got through it! Andy is coming nowhere near me ever again…


    Love it , Can’t wait for the dvd :0) xxx


    OMG Charlotte, that’s so awful but….and I’m sorry….but I couldn’t help laughing, as well as squeezing my knees together and feeling glad that I’m sat down. Good job that she’s so awesome xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


    Phew, glad it turned out alright in the end! Mine was a traumatic and long labour too, 5 years on and I’m still not ready to write that blog post. Fab 1st post x


    Lord… what a trauma!


    Oh my! Just hope its not put you off having anymore if you chose too. Very well written Charlotte and congratulations on your blog x


    Really well written Charlotte! Molly’s birth sounds freakishly similar to Jacob’s birth – that was 6 and a half years ago and still makes me feel traumatised when I think about it! However – I did go on to have another baby so obviously it doesn’t put you off forever (although I did cry through most of Theo’s birth as the trauma of Jacob’s came flooding back!) Happy to say though that the second time around there was no distressed baby, no ventouse, no forceps, no nasty snipping of bits that should never ever have a pair of scissors any where near them so here’s to your next one ha ha!


      Would like a brother or sister for Molly but not sure I can go through it again as I don’t know if my cervix will always be dodgy. Hopefully will get over it eventually. How long did it take you to recover? x


    Wow,traumatic!! Good job Molly is soooo adorable! Must admit this is the first time I have ever heard of any woman apologising to her husband during labour! I believe that death threats and castration are the usual conversation topics!
    Excellent site Charlotte,well done you!


    really enjoyed reading this, bet you cant wait to do it all again!! lol, it get easier they tell me but after having three i think they were lying, xx


    Sounds like it was very scary for you. I ended up with a c section while under General Aneasthetic and it was horrible. Weirdly i wrote a birth story post yesterday on my blog!



      Have just read your post, it sounds really scary! My midwife told me afterwards that if it had been any other doctor I would have been a c section under general too. Must have been awful to not be awake for the birth and to not be able to hold him. Glad it hasn’t put you off! They are very worth it! x


    Good lord! What a horrendous experience. I look forward to reading more of your new blog – welcome to blog world 😉
    ps: stopping by from blow your own bloghorn to say “hi”


    Gosh, what a time of it you had. So pleased the result is more than worth it though, and lots of luck for round two if you decide to go for it! Emma 🙂


    Fantastic Charlotte, love hubby x x


    My golly gosh!!!

    Fab blog angel, but it’s put me off for life!! x x

    Love and hugs x


    Gosh that just sounds awful! I had a very fast labour and it did just feel like one 3 hour contraction – completely maddening! Luckily I did dilate fully. I do wonder with induction if things go a bit strange – the muscles just aren’t ready and they’re being forced! Thanks for linking up.


    […] What was your first post? My first post was called ‘Let’s Start At The Very Beginning’. As my blog was going to be primarily about Bob, and I had already written the story of her birth, I thought that this would be a good place to start. It was good to get my story out there and to find people who had experienced similar things. During Bob’s birth the doctor and midwives that were present kept saying that they had never seen anything like it before. This did not fill me with confidence. Sharing my story has made me realise that I am not alone. If you would like to read this post you can do so here. […]


    […] You can read about the reason for my induction and my labour and birth story here. […]


    […] even know that the blogging world existed or what fabulous communities it contained. I wrote about Bob’s birth and I began searching for other birth stories on the […]

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