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Birthing Methods in general

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      05.01.2010 00:40
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      You CAN do it.

      I had great births with both my children, my 1st born December 1999 was a smooth preganancy 4 days over due and 13 hours and 20 mins in labour no pain relief at at the age of 19 i gave birth to my bouncing boy who i named Bradley and he weighed at massive 9lb 12oz and no stitches so i was really happy that the birth had gone well after all the scary stoires your hear aboput and see on tv, so when i fell preganant 6 years later i hoped it would all go smoothly again and i was glad when it did pregnancy was brill and the labour was 36 mins!! I got to the hospital and 6 minutes later my stunning baby girl was born who we called Tia-Lou weighing 7lb 5oz, again no pain relief and no stiches.
      I just couldnt believe i had had 2 easy births i was soooooo lucky.

      Through both births i just was thinking about my breathing all the time and that really helped me, we are now trying for baby number 3 and this time think i willl be having a home birth as dont think i will make it to the hospital.

      Just remember ladies if you want a pain free labour you can do it just get in the zone and think about your breathing i know its hard when your in that much pain but the feeling of having control over your body at a time like that is priceless.

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      23.10.2009 18:21
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      no more kids for me

      I was booked in to be induced, Friday 25th September, at 7.30am, due to foetal movements being quite limited and when on the trace they weren't happy with the monitoring. I then had to go to DAU first to be monitored, have scan to check placenta and blood flow through the cord etc. I was then told they also sent me to the DAU first as they were too busy on the CLS.
      Eventually I went home at lunchtime and had to come back at 7.30am on the Saturday. So we went off to see Alex as she was staying at mums while all this was going on.
      I woke up at 5.30am on Saturday 26th September and we went to the hospital ready to be induced at 7.30am.
      I am not going to bore you with the details of the day, but by 7pm there were still no rooms available so they could induce me, but I had heard 3 babies born by that point and the lady who had her pessary next door to me was off to have her baby. I was so angry; cue more tears and asking the midwife what the hell was going on.
      I spoke to dad, he said to put a formal complaint in and go home, he said I could always ring an ambulance, so I had a good think about it, but decided to wait until 8pm as I heard a consultant say it had quietened down on the labour suites.
      At 8pm, my contractions started up, but were lasting 45 seconds or so and coming every 4-5 minutes, randomly. At 8.45pm, they started to come every 2 minutes but were still only lasting 45-50 seconds so I knew they weren't doing a lot, but the intensity turned up on them, and it was enough for me to say 'ow' on a few of them. At 9.10pm, the more senior midwife off the CLS came in to check how I was and to say about the room situation for my induction (as in there were still none free), and checked me over with my contractions, to which she said they weren't lasting long enough to be in established labour. So she came back to check on me at 9.25pm, I said the contractions were starting to become painful, but I could still cope with them and they were still coming every 2 minutes but lasting up to a minute.
      I asked if I could be examined, but she said they will come and check later as contractions still weren't lasting long enough.
      I couldn't jump on the bed in the assessment room and lean over the back of the bed like I did with Alex, which was so comfortable for me, so I improvised, popped a pillow on the floor and knelt on that over the bed and breathed through them.
      As the midwife was about to leave, (about 9.30pm) I was on the floor I felt a sharp painful pop feeling in my back, and the pains were getting stronger....midwife said she will come back in 20mins as she was dealing with lady next door. I could feel myself wetting myself, and it was warm, so I though i had just weed, so I went to the toilet and more was coming out while walking to the loo. Mark got the midwife and told her we think waters have just gone, so she came into the toilet to check my pad, and gave me an attractive massive pad to put on, and said she would come back...
      I could barely get from the loo to the assessment room without each contraction, but I still didn't know what was to come, as I didn't feel ready to give birth yet. When I got to the room I asked for gas and air, so the other midwife came in to check how I was, with the other midwife asking her to examine me, so at about 10pm I struggled to get on the bed, and looked at my pad to see lots of reddish/pinkish water on it, so my waters had gone. She said I was fully dilated, but I said to her I wanted to push, she said a little of my cervix needs to thin slightly and I felt I needed to push as her fingers were there, but I told her I needed to push again, and she looked at Mark while looking at her fingers which were now not inside me- I then said I needed gas and air and can't do this, but she said I can't leave you on your own to get the gas and air otherwise you will deliver your baby on your own..... I was shocked, I didn't feel ready to give birth apart from the pain and the feeling of needing to do a poo....but that was the head crowning and she said to do my breathing and push. I remember it taking 3 pushes to deliver her head with the rest of my waters gushing out, and then one final push to get her out.
      So at 10.10pm my little girl was born, we were shocked she was a girl, she was placed onto my chest, but it was all a bit hazy for me, but there was no baby cry and Mark got asked if he wanted to cut the cord, but he too was concerned with her lack of crying and the midwife had already pressed the red button and there were the crash team...whipped her away to get her going. She had a score of 3 but within 5 minutes was up to 9.
      It was sooo painful, and even though the gas and air never worked with Alex, it helped me to concentrate on my breathing technique so helped me get through her labour, where as I was all over the place with breathing this time, which made it the whole experience more painful overall.
      They spent the next hour stitching me up and sorting out my bleeding (this time I only lost 300ml, not 1300ml thank God!), by this point I had my gorgeous little girl back on my chest. I was finally given gas and air, while they stitched me up as I had a 2nd degree tear, I was a little worried when she said my bleeding hadn't stopped, I thought here we go again, but it stopped - luckily.
      I was still in shock and shaking, everything was so quick - people always say you are lucky having a quick labour, but that's not true, I was with Alex as I knew what was happening, but this time I feel it was slightly traumatic to deal with.
      Once stitched up I had to have a shower while Mark dressed Bethany and go straight to the ward, with Mark having to go home, as they needed the assessment room for the next lady.

      So there we go 2 hours 10 minutes of labour and 34mins as my official length of labour...another quick labour like Alex!!!

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      04.11.2008 15:16
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      Great memories of how my princess entered the world

      I am a man and a father of two children and thought I would write something from a man's point of view on this subject.

      This is from my experience of the birthing method used for both my children. Both my children were born in a birthing pool one was born in 2003 and other in 2005.

      It was our preferred choice to use the birthing pool at the local hospital. From a pre-visit to the hospital we found out that there was only one birthing pool available and that as soon as you were admitted into the labour ward you should make it clear that it was your wish to use the birthing pool room. This is exactly what we did and were very lucky that it was available both times. Although for the first birth in 2003 it was not suggested to us at all. By 2005 we were asked before we had chance to speak if we wanted to use the birthing pool room. We were lucky that my wife did not have high blood pressure or any other signs of problems in the labour or we would not have been aloud into the pool.

      The room was much bigger than then other birthing room that we were admitted into first of all. At one side of the room was the birthing pool which looked like a ceramic hot tub. The water was run into the pool as soon as we asked to use the room as it took a while to fill the pool up and to get it to the correct temperature. On entering the pool it was clear to me that she felt more comfortable in the water than on the bed or pacing up and down the room.

      One thing that she did have a problem with was that once the contractions came frequently she was struggling to get herself sat comfortably in the water. I tried kneeing at the side of the pool and supporting her upper body that was out of the water so she felt more comfortable. This seemed to work but the height of the pool made it uncomfortable for me supporting her over time. At this point I saw a birthing ball in the corner of the room and asked if I could use this to support myself. Who would have thought I would be the one using the birthing ball.

      When the contractions were coming often enough to push I found it very hard not being able to help my wife as she was in so much pain. I could feel how hard it was for her with me holding her body in the water helping her float. It was the hardest part of the birth being so helpless but trying to help.

      With the first child once the head was out she was having problems getting the rest of my daughter's body out. The midwife was telling her to push lower down and not in the face but she was having problems still. To this day she tells me that she managed it through me helping by moving my arms and hands down her lower back and side and getting her to try and push my hands away. This managed to work and my daughter came out into this world.

      This was the best moment of my life and will never ever be overtaken. To see my daughter slowly floating up through the water to the surface look so magical. It was like a fairytale and I was there involved as part of the fairytale. Then when my daughter made it to the surface I was waiting for her to cough and start to breathe.

      Nothing was happening, my magical princess had arrived but not arrived. As the midwife started to worry and get the emergency equipment ready and called for the doctor. My princess gave the smallest cough I had ever heard and she was breathing. My princess was here she really had arrived. This bought a tear to my eye and still does to this day at how lucky we are to have both our little girls.

      The second daughter came along 2 years later and this time arrived much simpler and much quicker. But it was still as magical when she floated much the same way up to the surface of the water in slow motion. The second daughter broke the water coughed straight away and started crying.

      Both births were a really magical experience and made even more special by the way they floated into this world in front of our eyes.

      If I close my eyes now I can still see them both floating up to the surface. Such special memories.

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        07.10.2008 23:43
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        its not always to be dreaded

        Im a great believer in the old addage that you can only tell it as you find it but I thought Id pen a few words in defence of the cesarean section because so many more women have this procedure these days and I feel there is so much negative press about this method of delivery.

        Now personally I dont believe in elective c section as it seems to me common sense that babies should wherever posible be born naturally but many women have to have a c section for medical reasons and that was the situation with me after i had been in labour for three days and they discovered following a scan that I was never going to be able to deliver my baby naturally. I have to say I have never been so happy to be told I was going to have to go down to theatre but id been insuch pain and distress for so long I just wanted things to be over. The operation itself was really not too bad. Yes its a bit scary to be awake and know you are being cut open but my baby was delivered so quickly I thought they were still preparing me. I didnt feel a thing.

        Post operatively there was some pain and discomfort but nothing like I had expected. I struggled with movement for about a week but I was out walking my daughter after four days and as long as I took it easy I could manage most of the aspects of my babies care. My wound healed beautifully and I was suprised by how small the incision was. Eight weeks after giving birth I was able to go on a skiing holiday with my doctors blessing.

        I know that not all women have such an easy time of things but I just wanted to give a counter view in the hope that it might reassure any women that might be due to have a c section that it doesnt always have to be perceived as a dramatically debilitating thing. Its important to be positive and realistic. Im happy to have had my c section and feel lucky things went so well.

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          04.06.2008 23:08
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          you have just these 3 options, i know what i would choose anyday

          I will never understand why anyone would ever optionally have a c section, yes i understand that sometimes they are necessary but i have a friend who chose to have her son by c section as she wanted an exact date for his arival, how stupid is that and the hospital actually did this, she put her body through surgery she didnt need, walked around or should i say hobbled around hunched up and unable to stand streight for weeks due to the stitches and for the first 4 days could barely hold her son.

          I had two natural births although both very different, a hospital birth is good if you are a nervous person who stresses about everything and can cope with being stuck on a ward with lots of other people but this just wasnt right for me.

          home births on the other hand i would recomend to anyone who is calm natured and doesnt panic over the slightest little thing, it is a lot more relaxing for you to be in your home enviroment, you will have the same midwife for your deliery as your anti natal care so will be very well aquanted by the time baby arrives and there is actually no more risk to giving birth at home than in hospital. You do not have to move out of your own home, you can have as many or as few people present at your birth as you want, you have a lot more freedom of choice as to where you give birth and everything you need is there with you.

          I would seriously sugest talking to your midwife about the possibility of a home birth as it is so much more relaxed.

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            10.08.2004 00:28
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            The headline of the Daily Mail when I first wrote this review was about the governments plan to charge women who elect to have their baby delivered by a caesarian section for social reasons rather than medical. This charge could potentially be up to £5000. Having experience both a section and a natural delivery, what I intend to do with this review is give details of both births and explain to you why I would chose a natural (drug aided) birth over a section any day of the week and why I agree that the NHS should encourage people to take the cheaper and it has to be said healthier and safer option and if charging them is the way to do it then do it, and lets face it for some of the people who choose this option - the Victoria Beckhams of this world, this is loose change, and why should we subsidise this through our taxes. At this point I must add that in cases of medical need Caesarian sections are necessary and should be and are available for free and the government has no plan to change this. Prior to giving birth, under the NHS all new mothers to be are invited along to antenatal classes, telling you about the birth, what to expect and what to do with the baby afterwards. During these sessions, or with private sessions with your midwife you are encouraged to write a birth plan. I did this for my first pregnancy and it did absolutely no good whatsoever. The birth plan should include details about whether you want to use pain relief, whether your partner wants to cut the umbillical cord and various other things related to the baby. Emily was born by an emergency section 2 months prematurely, so this carefully devised plan went completely out of the window. Caesarian section can be carried out either under full anaesthetic, which I believe they prefer to do in emergency cases but I had been eating littlewoods pick '
            ;n' mix all day so they couldn't, or a local anaesthetic in the form of an epidural. This is what I had and you are hooked up to all the usual machines, blood pressure and the oxygen is handy just in case. A whole team of staff is required, a surgeon, an assistant a midwife and an anaethatist. So you can immediately tell why these things cost so much more than your 1 midwife and the doctor 2 floors away just in case. The procedure itself was incredibly quick when they are taking the baby out it actually feels like someone is trying to do the washing up in your stomach. There is a curtain up shielding you from the fact that they have cut a hole in you. My memories of this are somewhat hazy from the epidural and I was still in shock, as I had 2 months to wait for this baby didn't I, but I do have one very clear memory that scared me at the time, as my bed was wheeled away, after Emily had been shown to me and whisked away to her incubator, there was a rail with all the cloths of my blood hanging there, and there were loads of them. The caesarian itself was ok, it didn't hurt and from that point of view I can understand why women would want to avoid labour, but then there comes the afterwards. The following morning, after the pain relief had worn off I felt awful, I was not allowed to walk, I was in severe pain and I had a drain in. The nurses duly arranged for some more pain relief, and this feeling went on for 3 days. The drain was removed on day 3 and I was discharged on day 4 'against the doctors better judgement' but mainly because I complained so much. Then the disadvantages of the section really start to kick in. It is major surgery, you therefore can not drive for 6 weeks. Which when you have a baby in the special care unit is not at all convenient. If you ignore this and decide to drive you are not insured. By contrast when Ellen was born she was induced 2 weeks early as they were being safe after emily. We went in to be induced on New years eve and I was scared, it may have been my second child but I had never been through labour, mentioning to the midwife, almost joking about another section she was delighted and said I could have one, no problem. I declined and went ahead with the induction. Nothing happened for the first half a day, we weren't allowed to go out so my husband and I sat on the bed playing chess (strangely he won!) about lunch time they came and had another go with the inducing gel and this time it completely knocked me out there was only one position I could lie in to keep comfortable. Now for all you well meaning men out there and my husband is one, just let the woman tell you what she wants and when she wants it. Andy had been very supportive throughout both pregnancies, getting involved wherever he could and kept asking if I wanted this or that. Both he and the midwife kept suggesting a warm bath would help - I didn't feel like one, but after they had been going on about it for a good couple of hours I succombed and had one just to make them happy, and was sick as soon as I got in. I know Andy felt completely useless that day, but honestly just being there is enough, don't try too hard. The other thing I remember about that day was the new midwife that looked after me when they changed shifts. When you are in labour your senses are very acute and she had worn a perfume that wouldn't normally have bothered me but I felt sick everytime she came close. I am not good with pain, and I have full admiration and respect for those ladies who labour with no pain relief, I had a shot of pethadine while I was on the ward and as this started to wear off I said to the midwife 'ok its hurting aga
            in now I want an epidural' She checked me out and I was still only about 2.5" dilated (10 is baby imminent) but sent me down to the delivery suite anyway. In the delivery suite we sat for about half an hour, eventually Andy asked the midwife when I could have my epidural and they told him that I might not be allowed to which in true cowards style he responded - you can bl***y well tell her then! So she came in and fixed up a moniter to check the contractions and had the audacity to tell me that they weren't very painful. I found out later that she had no children and the hospital received regular comments about her bedside manner. My response to her is unprintable! She then checked me over and found that I was fully dilated (2" to 10" in 45 minutes - not bad as this can take days!) so no epidural for me. The rest of the birth went as you would expect, push a bit then out pops baby. (I did manage to kick the midwife in question on one of the pushes and she must have had a huge bruise as she went flying, 5 years of Karate training and I finally got to use it) Anyway, that is the story of my two births, the after effects of the section go on for weeks, when the stitches came out, it hurt again, I could not drive, I could not leave hospital for 4 days and then was still very limited in my movements, getting in and out of chairs and beds hurt. Following the natural birth, I was home by lunchtime, walking normally just slightly sore. I went sales shopping 2 days later and drove to the supermarket that week. Life back to normal. My advise in this section, is plan how you would like your birth to go, but don't stick to this rigidly, things can go wrong. Don't be scared by labour, the pain, is more like a continual discomfort that won't go away and the second baby is born it is gone, whereas with the section, the after effe
            cts are there and visible for a while. Stick to what you want and don't be pressurised into things by other people. Remember it is the beginning not the end, when you are pregnant it is difficult to see beyond the birth, but that is why we all do it. Thank you for reading.

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              04.03.2003 18:33
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              Having read various ops on birth but none that covered a c/section followed by a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) I thought I?d post my birth stories ? but be warned, since there are 4 in all, this is going to be quite long and quite detailed! Harley ==== I had a very long labour with Harley. My contractions started at just before midnight on Friday 5th July (the hospital's summer ball was on the Saturday night) and although they were mild they were coming every 3 mins or so. I was also bleeding, although not heavily, enough to be concerned. After speaking to my local hospital I was advised to go in and they would take a look. I was 3 cms dilated and having "very mild" contractions. I was then sent up to the ward to let nature take its course. I was completely ignored throughout Saturday - I had no sort of monitoring or examinations and in fact didn't even get told when it was dinner time! At about 2 am Sunday morning a "new" midwife appeared on the ward (she had been downstairs delivering earlier) and decided that I really should be monitored/examined since I had been there so long. After monitoring me for about 10 mins she said that I didn't appear to be having any contractions (which was news to me) but did an internal anyway - during which I had a contraction which she felt - it didn't show up on the monitor! So a new monitor was found and I was strapped on again. I was still only about 3 - 3.25 cms dilated. She gave me some meptid at this point, as she thought I should relax a little since I had been there for so long without sleep. After about an hour of monitoring she said that she had noticed some slight decelerations with the baby's heart and thought it advisable that I go down to the labour ward, just to be on the safe side. Once on the labour ward I was strapped to another monitor and left alone for about an hour. I was then visited by another midwife
              and another internal was given. I hadn't dilated any further so she called in a doctor who decided to break my waters and see how things went. The midwife then stayed with me throughout. However, if I wanted to move or turn over I got moaned at because it meant she had to adjust the monitor, which she wasn't happy about. I spent the next couple of hours dozing only to be awaked by her giving me an injection of pethidine, which neither I nor my husand had requested (over the next few hours they gave me a few shots of pethidine, but but that point I couldn't really care). By about 8 am I had reached the heady heights of 5 cms but was feeling very tired and fed-up. I even remember asking the doctor whether I could have a c-section as it had gone on for so long, only to be told "you're doing really well Mrs Woods, it won't be much longer". By lunchtime I had at last fully dilated and now the problems really started. I spent the next four hours flat on my back trying to push. They decided that as the contractions had slowed I should have a drip put in to try to speed things up. They tried to attach a scalp monitor to the baby, which I found extremely painful, without success. They attempted both ventouse and forceps, without success (incidentally, they did not perform an episiotomy, for which I am very grateful). At about 3.30 pm I heard the doctor say (with what sounded like a note of panic in his voice) that they would have to do an emergency c-section as the baby was in distress (so was the mother at this point, as I'm sure you can appreciate). Since I hadn't had an epidural they arranged for me to have a general. We were whisked to theatre where my husband was handed those awful green overalls and then told that as I was having a general he wouldn?t be allowed in the theatre, so he was left there, with the impression that we were both going to die. I was told by the doctor delivering her that s
              he was face first, which is what had caused so many problems with the monitor, ventouse and forceps. Harley was born at 4.10pm on Sunday afternoon weighing 5lbs 13ozs. When I came to in the recovery room my first thought was whether the baby was okay? Hubby was standing there holding both our hands and told me we had a little girl. The next thing I remember was waking up on the ward the next morning. Hubby told me afterwards that we had been wheeled into the recovery room and just left there ? me on a trolley and Harley in the ?fishtank? ? he was too scared to pick her up, since he?d never held a baby before, let alone a newborn. From that point on we were left to it, if you asked for help you were huffed at and although you got it, it was given begrudgingly. The only post-op pain relief I was offered was paracetemol, so I?m amazed when I hear of people in other hospitals getting stronger things. I was up and about by 11.30 am on the Monday morning (mainly because I was desperate for a cigarette). At no time was any information given regarding the effect of having a section either on what could and couldn?t be done immediately afterward or on future pregnancies Keziah ==== When I became pregnant with Keziah I was determined not to have another section, however during all my antenatal appointments I was told that because my first had been so small and I'd had to have a section with her the chances were I'd have another section. They were however prepared to allow me a trial of labour on condition I came to the hospital as soon as I felt the first contraction! At no time were the risks of having a VBAC explained to me - I had to find all the information out for myself. When I eventually went into labour I spent a few hours at home first and then went to the hospital at about 1pm. As I walked into the labour room I was met by a midwife and junior doctor who both informed me that I would have to have a c
              anula put in and have an epidural "for when you have the section". They were very firmly told that I was not going to have another section, to which I was told "well you had one last time so you'll probably have one this time". I relented on the canula aspect, but would not relent on the epidural one (we had quite an argument about it). I was also told I would be continually monitored, which I told them I didn't want as I wanted to be more mobile - "tough, you've had a section, you've got to be" was the response. After about an hour a new midwife and her trainee came on duty and took over my care. What a change in attitude. I told her my feelings regarding monitoring and her response was "I can't force you to be monitored if you don't want to be, as long as you let me do intermittent monitoring, that's fine by me". We agreed that she could monitor me for 15 mins every 45 mins (so I had 30 mins of freedom). Just before 6pm I was visited by a doctor because I had not dilated any further than the 3cms I was when I first arrived. The midwife suggested that they break my waters to see if that would speed things up - she didn't want me on a drip since it could cause problems. He said no and I would have to go up on the ward to wait things out. I flatly refused since I had visions on birth no. 1 going through my head at this point, and said that I would rather go home - "well you can't do that you've had a section". The midwife then suggested that hubby and I went to the hospital restaurant for a meal for a couple of hours and then come back. At this point he decided to break my waters and told me that things should start moving by midnight! My hubby was sent home and told they would ring him if anything happened. The contractions then hit with a vengeance and things progressed rapidly. Hubby had been home about an hour when they called him back because things
              were going so quickly. I delivered Keziah on my knees leaning over the back of the bed at 9.50 pm with no pain relief, no stitches and a great deal of joy. She weighed 6lbs 10oz. The midwife who looked after me was also my community midwife so I saw her quite a bit at home after the birth and she told me that she got into a lot of trouble for letting me labour without continuous monitoring, despite the fact that that was my wish. Nerise ==== When I found out I was pregnant with Nerise I asked if I could have the same midwife again since I had had such a pleasant experience with her. However, she was not on the team I was under and to get on her team I would have had to change GPs - which I was not prepared to do. I was also told that the reason on my notes for the section with my first baby was DTA (deep transverse arrest). This was the first time I had ever been told this. I then asked about home birth and a meeting was arranged with my Consultant. She advised that although she could not stop me having a home birth, she would not recommend it because of the risks (which by this point I had looked into further and knew only too well). However, in view of the treatment I had received previously she would speak to the Head of Midwifery and see if I could go on the GP/Midwife Led Unit - that way I could have a birth with no medical intervention but if there was a problem they would be on hand to deal with it. I agreed to this as it seemed a fair option to me and was told a couple of weeks later that the Head of Midwifery had agreed too. I was again told to come in fairly early on, just to be on the safe side. When I eventually went into labour (on my due date, surprisingly), I called the GP Unit and was told to go in (about 7.30 am). However, when I arrived I was told by a very rude midwife that she was not prepared to deal with me on the GP Unit as I was "high risk". She was then told, in no uncertain terms, that i
              f that was the case I would go home again and they could send two midwives experienced in dealing with a Home VBAC out to me at home. She then decided to monitor me to see how things were going. Unfortunately for me (but very conveniently for her), the baby had a very flat heartbeat, so there was no going home. Straight down to the labour ward, where miraculously, the baby's heartbeat was normal! However, I still wasn't allowed home. My consultant came to see me and apologised profusely for me not being allowed on the GP Unit, it seemed that the Head of Midwifery had forgotten to put anything in writing on my file! I was only about 2 1/2 cms dilated, but in view of the flat trace the Consultant wanted me monitored for a couple of hours and if things were fine, I could go home until everything started moving. So I was sent up to the ward (about 11 am). I spent the next several hours pacing, hoping to speed things up, since no-one would give the go ahead for me to go home, they didn't even monitor me as they had been requested to do by the Consultant. At about 10pm that night my hubby was told by the midwife in charge of the ward that he couldn't stay. We then had quite an argument with her because I hadn't been put on a monitor or examined since I had been up there and my hubby wouldn't leave until I had been! She then reluctantly put me on a monitor examined me and said that I wasn't in labour as I was only just 3 cms dilated (that dreaded 3 cms) and that it would be hours yet. So hubby was forced to leave at about 11pm and was told that they would phone him when my waters broke. I and a girl who was in for observation went to see him out. On the way back my contractions suddenly intensified, so much so that I could no longer walk through them but had to stand still and hold on for dear life. We told the midwife what had happened when I got back to the ward and was told not to be silly as I wasn't in la
              bour yet and to go to bed and rest. By about 12.15 I was having difficulty coping on my own so called the midwife, who was more than a little annoyed. I got told not to be silly and to call me the next time I had a contraction. She had barely left the room when I called her - I had had two contractions in that time! So she examined me (at 12.25) and declared I was only 4 cms and had hours to go yet. At this point I was so fed up I asked for an epidural (which I have always sworn never to have), by this point I was starting to think I'd have the baby on my own in the ward. So she arranged for me to be transferred down to the labour ward and telephoned my hubby. They got me into a labour room and I told the midwife there that I felt like pushing, "don't be silly, let's have a look". The following is virtually her exact words: "Shit, midwife, trolley now" at which point all hell broke loose. My hubby arrived on my 2nd push, the doctor arrived to put in a canula, my waters broke on the 3rd push and Nerise (weighing 5lbs 12oz) was born with my 4th (at 1.03 am) - the canula never got in, since the doctor had seen what was happening and vacated! My notes state that I had a 35 min first stage and an 8 min second stage. When one of the girls on my ward commented that I would be back in a couple of hours with a baby, the midwife on the ward said that I would be lucky to be back by lunchtime the next day! I was back on the ward by 2 am! Her comment to me the next morning (after avoiding me for the rest of the night) was "you multips are so unpredictable". If we're so "unpredictable" then why the hell didn't she listen to me! Questa ===== We had originally planned a homebirth for this baby, but due to unforeseen circumstances (my midwife left to join a birth centre and there wasn?t another midwife I knew well enough or trusted enough to support me in a homebirt
              h) we arranged with the head of the GP/Midwife Led Unit that I would go there (this time she had checked with all the midwives on her staff and they were all happy to deal with me). Moderate contractions started at about 3 am on the Sunday morning but would die off for half an hour or so if I lay down - so knew latent phase was going strong (as per all my births). By about 10.30 pm Sunday night things had started to progress and having had a long Instant Message chat with a midwife I knew, we made our way to the MLU. However, baby's trace was initially awful, so the midwife went to get Reg who wanted me on the Labour Ward being continuously monitored. After the Reg was told no (I think my exact word was "b******s") I got the usual spiel about not being forced to do anything etc but that I couldn't remain on the MLU and I would have to go to the Labour Ward and be continuously monitored, but when I tried to explain my reasons for not wanting continuous monitoring she walked out of the room without listening - so I discharged myself and went home (I was only about 2cms dilated at this point). I would point out that the midwife had checked the trace since she had gone to fetch the Reg and confirmed that it was now fine (had it not been fine I would have stayed). She wrote in my notes that I was verbally abusive and obstructive (the only time I swore was the b******s about the monitoring) and that she had told me the risks of not monitoring etc (which she didn't)! The midwife from the MLU phoned me up at home about an hour later and asked how I was doing and whether I was coping etc and said that if I wanted to come back in just let her know. By about 3.30 am I was having trouble coping at home (had sent hubby to bed by this point), so woke him up again and made our way back up to the MLU - unfortunately I was still only 2cms so they ran me a wonderful bath and put me to bed! By about 4.30 I was gettin
              g what I call my "transition wobble" - not quite an urge to push, but not a normal contraction. So back into a birthing room again, however, contractions spaced themselves apart to 5mins again and the "wobble" stayed until about 5 am. Then the grunting started! However, I was still only 3 cms - but it definitely felt like transition with a strong urge to push (albeit controllable). By about 5.20 I was struggling to control the pushing urge and asked my m/w to see how I was doing as I was worried that even the uncontrollable pushing was going to cause problems if I wasn't fully dilated - she held off doing another internal as I'd only just had one. I spent the next 15 minutes desperately trying not to push, although by the end of it I was probably pushing during half the contraction and stopping myself the other half - but I was also getting very upset, calling for any type of pain relief (including a General) etc. The midwife came back in at about 5.40 and said she?d do another internal to see how I was getting on. Her reaction was ?Oh, I can see the head?. As another contraction hit, I started pushing and she ended up trying to keep out of the way of my waters exploding over her (they still hadn't gone by this point), but also trying to keep an eye on what was going on and open the delivery pack and get to the door to call in a 2nd midwife as baby catcher! Next thing I knew the head was born (with the next contraction) and we had a little lull before the next contraction and the body followed. I have no idea when my waters went - I have a feeling they and the head made an appearance at the same time! We had planned to have a physiological 3rd stage, but the midwife was concerned as 30 mins later there was still no sign of the placenta and the cord looked like it was going to come away, so I told her to give me the jab (I was already sitting up on a bedpan by this point hoping that wo
              uld have done the trick). Jab given and about 5 mins later I gave a little push and placenta plopped out. I had a very small tear, which didn?t require stitches. After a shower and a bit of sorting out I was home by 8.50 am having escaped the 8 hour wait for a paeds check by promising to go back the next day! So 4 girls later we are constantly being asked if we are going to have any more?.. well you?ll just have to wait and see!

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                06.12.2002 02:55
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                • "wasnt the experience I had hoped for"

                This is my very first opinion as a new member of dooyou, so please be patient. My youngest child was born almost three years ago, I had a fairly normal pregnancy but eventually went into labour at 38 weeks pregnant. I didnt realise I was in labour and it was discovered at a rountine antenatal check that I was already 5cm dilated. I was taken to the delivery suite and immediately hooked up to a monitor (which I can understand the midwives needed to record some baseline observations, however it didnt feel it was necessary to be hooked up for over an hour. My community midwife had stressed to me that an active birth would be much more beneficial, it would ease my pain and make labour smoother and I would feel in contorl. I had also read various research on this subject and agreed that this would be the route I wanted to take. After laying hooked up to this monitor I called in the midwife and asked it to be removed, she did so reluctantly and left me to it - for half an hour, then came in and insisted that I go back on the monitor, I tried to argue this with her but she was adamant making out it would be for the benefit of the baby, totally contradicting the advice I had had from other health care professionals. So, because of the 'guilt factor' i.e. i wasnt doing what was best for my baby she hooked me up again and i laid there in agony for the next two hours. After this I insisted that it be taken off again and she sighed and again reluctantly agreed. No sooner had I stood up, my waters had broken and I subsequently had my beautiful son in less than 8 minutes. What makes me wonder is if I had have been able to have a 'natural birth' instead of going along with the wishes of the midwife the birth would have been less traumatic for both myself and my baby. What I am trying to say is that although we make birth plans and the community midwives encourage us to go with what we as the expec
                tant mother wants, in reality it is very different, and looking back I just wished I had been a little more assertive to get the type of labour I wanted. It is one of the most important times in a woman's life and it should be a pleasureable (im not saying its not painful) experience. Woman as a whole should be able to give birth in any way they wish, and should not be swayed by midwives who do things coz thats the way theyve always done them. I am now happy to report that I am due my next baby in june next year and this time I am determined to have the birthing experience I owe to myself and my newborn baby.

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                  28.10.2002 07:32
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                  For months before the birth of my baby I sat for hours and watched all the labour & birth programmes on Sky TV. I watched loads of different births to try and get an idea of what labour would be like. Some looked fairly pain free (although the women had usually had an epidural), but in some births the women were screaming, moaning and thrashing about. It was scary to watch, but I wanted to prepare myself for the worst. I already had one little boy (15 months old) and he was delivered by caesariun section due to him being in the breech position. I was relieved that I didn't have to go through the whole labour experience, but this second time round I wanted to know what it was like. I also hoped that a normal delivery would help me to bond with my new baby better than the first time round! It was just over 2 weeks before my due date, and I had a show (a thick jelly-like discharge which is pinky brown). I knew that the time was near! A few days later I woke up in the middle of the night at about 3am, and my waters started to trickle. They carried on for a good hour or so! I was walking around trying to get my last few toilitries packed with a bath towel crammed between my legs!! We got to the hospital, and my contractions were getting stronger. They examined me, but I wasn't even starting to dilate! I had to be strapped to a monitor for ages, which was really annoying as the contractions were getting more uncomfortable. Contraction pain is unlike anything you will ever have felt before. I guess the closest way to describe it is like period cramps, but whichever position you move into, they do not ease off. They stay and just get stronger and faster. It does hurt! Anyway, the midwife came in and checked me again at 9pm and I was 5cm dilated. I asked for a shot of pethedine then, as I was very uncomfortable. I also tried the gas and air, but that made me sick. It didn't do anything for the pain either, so I didn't both
                  er with it. The pethedine made me feel incredible drunk. I was trying to move around and kept standing up. My partner had to hold me up, coz I kept falling all over the place!! It was a great feeling, but it still doesn't take any of the pain away. An hour after the pethedine, I got the urge to push. I screamed at my boyfriend to "go and get someonnneeee!". The midwife arrived, checked me, and said "Oh, his head is right there". Fantastic - the labour was almost over. Only the pushing bit to go now. Now, this was the part that frightened me the most. One of my fears was that I'd poo myself! Another was that I would have to have an episiotomy, or tear, or even worse than that, have a forceps delivery! When you are pushing the baby out, it feels just like you are having a massive poo! This bit wasn't painful at all. It was just a relief. It burns a bit when the head crowns, and I did tear slightly, but luckily I didn't have to have any stitches, which was another one of my fears. I was only pushing for about 10 minutes, and as labour is only real from when you begin dilating, my labour lasted just 4 hours! Yes, I'm a very lucky girl!! If I had to change anything about my birth, it would be not to have had the pethedine injection. While it made you feel all giddy and giggly, you also feel very out of control and not quite with it. You forget about the pain of the contractions soon after the birth. I felt really bruised inside afterwards, and when I walked, it felt like everything was about to fall out from between my legs! It was definatly a worthwhile experience though, and if I get the chance I will choose a natural, drug free labour. It wasn't as bad as I had expected.

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                    22.06.2002 23:44
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                    • panic

                    I gave birth to my son, Owen, 19 months ago and I remember the whole experience as if it were yestuday. I suppose its hard to write a review on this subject because what you write or read is’nt nesscerally what happens. I believe that everyones view and experiences are different to everyone elses. I remember going through pregnancy with all my friends and family telling me what its going to be like when I gave birth. I can tell you this, to be honest, that my experience didn’t match anyone elses. So to write an honest review on what is going to happen when you give birth will be only my personal experience and it will probably not even come close to what will happen or already has happened to you. Anyway on with the review. I gave birth to my son on November 8th 2000 at Hulls maternaty hospital. I remember for the last few weeks of my pregnacy being absolutloey miserable and depressed. My whole experience of pregnancy was great until this point. I was in so much pain continusly because my baby had found his place right on top iof my bladder and boy did it hurt. I must have been black and blue inside from all the kicking and moving around. At one point I used to believe that he must have been having a patrty or a wrestling match with my blader. Uncomfortable, upset and full of tears I cried down the phone to my mum on the 6th of November 2000 who gave me some useful advice. She told me to run up and down stairs a couple of times until I was exhausted as this might start my labour off. So the next day I got up and did all my regular morning activities and then I began. Up and down, up and down, and by the time I had finished running up and down stairs a couple of times I was puffed and I sat down on the sofa for an hour. Shocked, excited and loving my mum to pieces for her advice I started having very mild contractions. These went on throughout the day and I had rung the hospital to tell them. Unfortunately the hospital said I was probably having
                    Braxton Hick’s. Rubbish I told them and put the phone down. When my partner came home from work around 4:30pm I told him I was in labour. Being a man he shrugged it off at first and then panicked around about 7:00 when the contractions went from mild to being in a bit of pain. He rushed me to my mums house to pick up my mum and by the time we all got to the hospital I was in quite a bit of pain. It wasn’t absolutely unbearable but it still hurt. The nurses examined me and then sent my mum and boyfriend home at about 10:00pm because they said I had a while to go. At about 11:30 the pain around my stomach had become like living in hell. It was now unbearable and felt like someone was trying to pull my stomach out. The nurse who came to me offered me a bath and a few paracetamols and so I screamed at her in frustration that I wanted my mum and boyfriend back because I was going to have this baby soon and that no bath or tablet was going to stop me. So she did as I said. Waiting for both of them to come seemed like forever. I was laid on a hospital bed with my nightgown up to my breasts with 3 nurses around me that I didn’t even know. They offered me all kind of pain relief and I refused them all apart from a shot of Pethadin. The Pethadin didn’t take away any of the pain instead it made me sky high and at one point in a complete panic. Eventually my mum and boyfriend arrived and by this time I was in full labour. My mum held my hand and my boyfriend held my head up from the bed. Sky-high on Pathadin, hot and sweating I began to panic and neared a fit of hysteria. I started shouting and crying and saying that I cant do it. One of the nurses shouted at me that I had to calm down because I had no choice in weather or not I wanted to have this baby and the telling off worked. I calmed down and did what I had to do and also became surprisingly finding that I was no longer scared. That was until they had to cut me because my son’s heart
                    rate had dropped dramatically and that was it. I was so scared it was unbelievable. It didn’t help that I was high on painkillers. I cried all the way through until the end. Until my son was born. As soon as he was born I sighed with relief until they told me that I hadn’t finished yet and I still had the placenta to go but that was nothing. I think that I was just so happy and exhausted at the end that I suppose I couldn’t care less about any of the pain at all. I can’t describe the feelings I got when I held him for the first time. It still makes me emotional even now. I would say that it is the worst pain that I have ever felt but I would be lying. The worst pain I had was getting cramp in my right leg at about an hour before fully giving birth. I suppose I would say that I definitely would do this again just for the feelings towards the person that you have made that you get at the end. The only difference next time will be that I am not allowed to have any form of pain relief at all or so my notes say. A great experience and memory that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

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                      11.06.2002 04:44
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                      I had a long and difficult birth and have since been told that that is the norm with "back to back babies" well, hello? What the flippin' eck is a back to back baby?! I hadn't been told anything about such a breed and certainly didn't expect it! So, as I'm sure many first time mums and dads won't have heard of this either, I thought I would share my birth story... I was due on 3rd August and was huge, heavy and hot, not to mention pretty tired of the whole pregnancy deal (having never 'bloomed' but broken out in acne and with breasts like water balloons I was yet to see the fun side). I tried a few of the natural methods to move things along but got to 41 weeks and relented to schedule a hospital induction on 17th August. I had no idea how terrible this could be so was quite relieved to have an end date in sight. I think this relaxation helped, alongside a night of manic laughing (courtesy of The Office, BBC2). Late Monday night I started to have firm contractions, not painful but more rigid feeling than Braxton Hicks, like a toughening of the area and a feeling of ‘fullness’, they got closer and longer and more uncomfortable throughout the night and I lay in bed watching Ben (partner) sleep, while getting more and more nervous and excited. I woke him up around 7am the next morning feeling like I should really go in, the contractions had gone on all night “whatever happens we’ll have a baby by tonight” I stupidly whispered, followed by yelping and bag grabbing and hospital phoning. I’ll try and keep this as brief as possible! At the hospital I was wired up with a TENS machine and sent off to pace around the grounds. 9am, the painful and embarrassing ordeal of having my cervix felt for width of opening (by a shovel-handed midwife, deep joy, it is quick though) told me I was 4cm, whoopee, now we're cooking with gas etc... Anyway, the contractions went
                      on and by the afternoon I was a bit fed up to say the least. The midwifes, to my horror, told me to go home and get some rest, this could be long, I EXPECTED TO HAVE DELIVERED BY NOW!! We came home, went for long walks of panting and leaning, car journeys, tried to sleep (as if!) had some tea, watched some telly, grrrrr! The contractions started to get pretty painful that evening and off we drove to the hospital, not long now I thought (when will I learn?!). I was again checked, by a very little handed midwife – this time her hands were too small to reach my cervix, more pain!!!! She told me that the first midwife had been mistaken – I was only 3cm now (queue major expletives from me…) anyway, the contractions were getting stronger and I tried gas and air but it wasn’t very helpful at this point (it was later a gift from the gods which I would definitely recommend). Anyway, I was given some pethidine that night and got a little bit of sleep, no real progress through the night, sent home again the next morning… GGGRRR! To cut a long story (marginally) shorter, that evening I went to the main hospital 25 miles away, with strong contractions and a filthy mouth, determined to get this blo*dy baby out! Thank god by the time I got there I was in established labour (thanks in no small part to our rickety old Escort). Small but longhanded midwife – fab, had a bath and progressed a bit more. I was moved into a delivery suite. Gas and air (Entenox) made me hysterical and rambling -demanding anaesthetists, offering my house in exchange for a c-section – I rent! and asking if the anaesthetist was Alice Cooper and accusing him of “f'ing nattering”… but too late no epidural, I was going to deliver, by midnight I was ready to push, not long now I thought… wrong again, the pain was blinding, turns out the cervix had not quite opened and baby’s head was banging it and
                      not getting anywhere, her heart rate was soaring and dropping. We were petrified, I was talking like a crazy person and telling everybody off, eventually I was given an epidural afterall to stop everything for a while. 6.10 that morning (Thursday 16th August 2001) following a failed vontouse (sink plunger type contraption) and some forceps Mia Lili Emma was born, beautiful and peaceful and weighing 7lb 12oz (could have sworn she was double that…). Apparently, although she had been the right way up (i.e. not breach), she was facing the wrong way with her back to mine… ah-ha that’s what a back to back baby is… it is very common and means long labours, and it's more common amongst first babies. I am now expecting my second (despite everything I said in the delivery suite!) and will definitly ask them to check which way it's facing...

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                        06.06.2002 06:24
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                        My opinion now on giving birth is that it is the most wonderful thing i have ever done! After baby number one one my opinion was very different as i was so naive at the time. i thought as most new mums do that pain relief was going to be some wonderful miracle worker! I kept my options open to everything just in case as we all do and are told to do by our midwives. During labour i think i tried every pain relief going and nothing worked for me! 26hours later my first daughter was born.(never again i think was my first comment!) Second time around was a different story as a friend told me to imagine a contraction as a wave rising to its peak then flowing back. She told me to try gas and air only and breath it deeply till i reached the top of the wave and then exhale. She also told me that to remember the more painful your contractions are keep thinking the birth is nearer!! So i followed my friends advice and my second daughter was born in two hours! I wont say it wasn't painful as it was but for a shorter period of time. The rest of my tribe(totalling 5) were like shelling peas.

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                          31.12.2001 17:55
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                          • "Not waiting until midnight :)"

                          After 3 children I never want to experience childbirth again! The sheer scale of horror and pain can never be truly measured as it is a personal thing and can't be properly described even though my wife (Tina) tried; but I think after being at each of the three births I have a pretty good idea of what she means. Yes, this is an 'opinion' about childbirth from a husband's/father's point of view. I must warn you that this is a long opinion, a very long opinion, and I expect your heart sank, and you uttered the words "Oh no?" when you saw the scroll bar to the right get extremely small. However, I have split it so it can be read in different parts. Perhaps you may want to print it off and read it that way at your own pace, that way you may avoid your head banging frequently on your keyboard! Well I hope you don't find this 'opinion' that boring. Anyway let's continue, so, I didn't suffer the pain of childbirth Tina did, but as I say I was present at all 3 births of my children and shared many of the emotions Tina did but from a different perspective. The fear, the shock, the waiting, the joy and the realisation of impending parenthood (especially for the first born) are just some of the roller coaster emotions Tina and I shared in that process, as do many expectant parents. Sharing is the key, sharing all the emotions and the precious moments of bringing a new life into this world with your spouse or partner makes the experience that much more monumental. I am sure that after being at 1 birth if I missed any of the others I would have regretted it for the rest of my life. I would never be able to share the physical pain Tina went through, even though I wanted to take the agony away that she was going through. But, to push something out of her body that was a lot larger than the exit point, then all I could do was be there for her and help be her strength. One
                          other thing I must also tell you is that our children were all born in different countries and the different methods, treatment and care varied remarkably. On that note I urge you to stick with this 'opinion' to the end as it is more like 3 opinions in one. What I am about to tell you is true, you may find it funny, shocking or similar to your own childbirth experiences so please feel free to laugh, cry or whatever whilst reading what follows. ~~~~~ NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY ~~~~~ GIRL - 7lb 6oz / ROYAL UNITED HOSPITAL, BATH ************************************** Our first child was due sometime in December 1985 or possibly January 1986 (the Doctor's could never make up their mind on this date). We went through a few lifestyle changes in that 9 months to accommodate the arrival and subsequent welfare of our new addition. We sold our 1 bedroom property as I had joined the Royal Air Force and was away on training, which meant we couldn't afford the mortgage. Once I had completed my training (which was scheduled for January/February 1986) the RAF would house us at my new RAF Station. In the meantime Tina moved in with my Mum and Dad, not an ideal situation I know, but the only one available at the time. I regret not being there with Tina in the developing stages of her first pregnancy, because there were so many things we couldn't share with each other, the only way was through the medium of telephone or letter. Okay, so now it is some time in December 1985 and we still had no idea what date our child was going to be born, and neither did the Doctors. Initially we had dates as far apart as Christmas Eve and 13/14th January 1986, which was explained as quite normal for first babies. However unbeknown to us our daughter had different plans, which were soon to become very apparent. Around the middle of December Tina started to get some unusual pains in her womb tha
                          t worried her (it had happened earlier in he pregnancy and Tina was given a 'chart' to monitor baby's movement in the womb) as they were more frequent now and more painful. Fearing she was going into labour early, Tina was rushed into Hospital and I was called back from training. It was a false alarm, however we found out that our 'expected arrival' had a rather strange irregular heartbeat with the measured pulse being monitored from one extreme to another! Eventually things calmed down and Tina was sent home and I returned to my training. Now it is Christmas 1985, I am home from training for 2 weeks over the festive period and still no sign of our 'bundle of joy'. Until New Year's Eve that is. Tina was having the same pains as described before, but worse and there didn't seem to be any movement in the womb. As first time parents we were worried, very worried. So after a stressed phone call to the Hospital, I took Tina in (with customary Hospital prepared suitcase). I seem to remember it being about lunchtime on New Year's Eve when I took Tina in, and as soon as we arrived at the Maternity Ward Tina was put into a bed then attached to whatever monitor's and machinery the Midwife could lay her hands on. For the next few hours Tina and I just waited, stared and wondered what was happening. The monitor that measured all kinds of activity in Tina's womb, kept displaying strange sets of numbers relating to the baby's heartbeat and pulse, and I had seen this before so I pretty much new what was normal etc. However this time it wasn't normal, the readings were all over the place. First the monitor was saying that the heartbeat was about 20-30 beats per minute then it would jump to about 200! This carried on for some time and after initially being very worried that everything wasn't okay we were reassured somewhat by the helpful nursing staf
                          f, even though it was obvious they weren't 100% sure what was happening. After a few 'internals' from the Midwife and the Gynaecologist we were told what was happening as they had confirmed for themselves what was wrong and what needed to be done. It appeared that our beloved first child was a little impatient to come into the world and had got herself into a position in the womb where she had managed to cut off her own oxygen supply. Now, the situation wasn't immediately serious but if it carried on it would become so, therefore the decision was made to induce Tina. This was at about 5.30 pm, and the process of an induced pregnancy then, took between 5 and 7 hours. So, let me set the scene a little - It's New Years Eve, it's early evening and there is a skeleton crew on duty in Maternity as it is the holiday season and Tina was the only mum-to-be in labour. The midwives and nurses on duty were getting a little excited at the prospect of delivering a New Years Baby, and a couple of them had nipped to a local Off-Licence and bought a few bottles of bubbly and a bottle of champagne in preparation to celebrate the forthcoming event. The next 3 or so hours were pretty boring whilst we waited for the inducing progress took it's course with the occasional visit from a midwife to unceremoniously check on how well Tina's cervix was or wasn't dilating. Then sure enough at around 9 pm or so the contractions really started to kick in, but because of the previous scare with baby cutting off it's own oxygen, the contractions were more intense and were coming at very short intervals, therefore Tina was not getting many 'breathers' between contractions. Eventually the pain became unbearable for Tina and she was getting exhausted very quickly. She wanted pain relief and opted for an epidural. The thing that struck me as quite bizarre about the epidural injection procedure was t
                          hat whilst my dear wife was writhing in agony on a hospital bed, exhausted, disorientated, scared and in a lot of pain, the anaesthetist sat on a stool at the side of the bed and went through what seemed like hundreds of questions on the consent form and required Tina's signature before giving the injection. Out of sheer frustration I seem to remember screaming something like "Just give her the 'effing' injection!" The epidural sort of worked, but it wasn't completely effective because of how far into labour Tina actually was. Now it was just a waiting game to some degree, with Tina's contractions now coming between longer intervals and her cervix dilating, as it should do. The time was now sometime after 11 pm and I remember there was a female gynaecologist and a midwife attending to Tina with a couple more midwives/nurses doing something else somewhere, and then there was me. The rest of the Maternity Ward was empty as far as I can recollect. I remember the other midwives/nurses kept nipping back to see how things were progressing and seeing if things were still on course for a New Year's baby, which they were. They had the bubbly on ice ready for the big moment. Now I'm not a medical person but it did appear the gynaecologist and midwife were manipulating things to happen at particular times to ensure Tina gave birth just after midnight, therefore making our first child the first baby of 1986. I know this as I was also discussing it with them and we then discussed it with Tina, deciding to 'control' the final birthing process to coincide with the start of the New Year. It was now about 11.30 pm and this is when the midwife decided Tina's cervix had dilated the full 10cm so she could now push, and Tina did with all the strength she had left. However the midwife was controlling things and telling Tina to stop at particular moments, encouraging her to take a breather. Th
                          e other midwives/nurses came in to check and were getting excited. The Maternity Ward had never had a New Year's Baby before and this was going to be it, this was going to be a double celebration! I also seem to remember one of these midwives/nurses should have finished her shift at 10 pm but decided to stay on. Time seemed to move quite slowly from 11.30 pm, but things were still on course. 11.45 pm and Tina was still pushing and things were happening, the baby's head was appearing! The other midwives/nurses were now starting to sing and dance in a nearby room. 11.50 pm and the tension was mounting. Tina was still pushing for all she was worth and baby was making very good progress. 11.55 pm - Nearly there with most of the hard work having been done by Tina, now it was just a control phase of a few gentle pushes to get baby out. The other midwives/nurses got the bubbly out and were filling glasses (paper cups actually, but what the hell eh?). 11.57 pm - Now in the delivery room there was the gynaecologist, the midwife, the other 2 or 3 midwives/nurses and me, oh and Tina of course. We were all there in that room watching the clock. All the work had been done we were just waiting for that minute hand to reach the 12 then Tina could do one final pain free push to get baby out and then we would have one hell of a celebration! It didn't happen. Tina had decided enough was enough and she couldn't hold baby in for a second longer, well about 180 seconds to be precise. At 11.57 pm on 31 December 1985 our first child was born. Tina was relieved. The rest of us were stunned, the expressions on our faces, I imagine, were priceless. Tina apologised by saying she tried but she couldn't hold on the extra 3 minutes or so, and really at the end of the day who could blame her? We were now the very proud parents of a very healthy little girl, named Emma Louise, and we still had our celebrat
                          ion. We may not have had the first baby of 1986 (If I recall correctly the first baby of 1986 wasn't born until mid-morning), but we very probably had the last baby of 1985! There was a little embarrassing incident (for me) after the birth, but if you want the details you will have to imbibe me with alcohol and I may tell you. Hold on though reader because there is more to this particular chapter so please read on. We were fortunate where we lived because a day after Tina gave birth she was moved to a local Cottage Hospital (for new mums). It was an old converted mansion that could take about 10 - 15 women and their newborn babies. Tina had to stay there 10 days before being allowed home, which she didn't really mind as she was in ideal surroundings to relax and recover. After a few days there and me almost camped in the place too, it was time for me to return to my military training. It was awful, it was a Sunday evening and after spending most of the afternoon with Tina and our baby girl, it was time for me to go I could put it off no longer. So there we were, Tina and I in her area, with the curtains pulled round for privacy, so we could share the last moments together and with our baby daughter before I had to go. We w ere being soppy, I mean romantic, with each other, kissing, and talking about how happy we were and how much we'd miss each other etc. You know the normal stuff you do when you are young and very much in love. Well we heard crying from the other side of the curtain, bemused I pulled the curtain back and there was a young nurse stood there, crying. We asked her what was wrong to which she replied she was crying because she had overheard us and thought it was really romantic, straight from a book. She apologised for listening but explained that she had come to tell me that visiting hours were up but she didn't have the heart to disturb us, so decided to wait. Okay,
                          ready for the next chapter? Get yourself a drink first you deserve it! ~~~~~ SERVED ON A PLATE ~~~~~ GIRL - 7lb 13oz / ROYAL AIR FORCE HOSPITAL WEGBERG, GERMANY ************************************************** Right, let's get into the next instalment straight away. I'll give you a quick background to my second story first though. In August 1986 I found out that we were off to Sardinia on a 3-year tour, starting in November of the same year (we actually ended up staying 4 years). This seemed ideal! Tina and I with our 8-month old daughter were starting a new life abroad. It was also between August and November 1986 that we found out that Tina was expecting our second child, and it was due in May 1987. We had planned to have our children close together but this happened a little quicker than we expected. So off we went to Sardinia and started our new life?in the sun! The problem was that in the heat and the overall climate Tina (she won't thank me for saying this) put on more weight than she wanted too with this pregnancy. Time seemed to pass quite quickly and 1986 soon turned to 1987 and the birth of our second child was getting ever nearer. Now, being in the Armed Forces, especially at this time and because of where we were located, we had a couple of options open to us, we could - - return to the UK so Tina could have the baby, or - go to Germany and have the baby at the RAF Hospital at Wegberg (near Monchengladbach) The problem was though with the decision of where to have the baby we had to consider 'confinement' times, meaning how soon/late into the pregnancy it was safe to fly Tina (or any expectant woman) and how long she would have to stay at her chosen destination before flying back to Sardinia. We opted to go to Germany, where I managed to get a temporary posting/attachment to a military unit near the Hospital. This decision meant we
                          would only be away from 'home' for about 2 months. So in early April 1987, off we went the 3 of us on an adventure to Germany from Sardinia. Now in Germany we stayed in a 'hotel' type of military accommodation. Whilst I worked Tina was stuck here with our daughter, Emma, just waiting and waiting for the time to pass and the birth of our second child. Living out of suitcases soon became a little frustrating, an d after 6 weeks there we were eager to get home. I just remembered something that happened there that has made me chuckle. We hadn't taken Emma's buggy to Germany because it was extra luggage and we were told there was a buggy at the 'hotel' we could use?yeah right. On a rare day off for me, Tina and I decided to go for a walk and borrowed the 'hotel's' buggy for Emma. Well the buggy was in fact a pram, no not a pram but probably THE original perambulator itself! Anyway it was all that was available and Emma thought it was comfortable, so off we set. Things were going fine but there seemed to be something not quite right about this 'pram', it was the wheels I think?no?it was the suspension, it seemed a little 'springy'. Hmmm, no matter on we continued, but the further we went the more lively the suspension became until?boing! Our wonderful daughter didn't bounce too far or too high, and luckily I caught her! The 'pram' was returned accompanied with a full explanation of why it should be scrapped. Mind you what probably didn't help was that Emma was bouncing with the suspension making the effect doubly worse! Soon after we went to Monchengladbach on the bus, carrying Emma, and bought a buggy. Anyway I digress, well eventually things were moving along nicely and Tina was nearly ready to do the business, but we had to 'time' the birth to coincide with flight times. Ah, better explain that there was only 1 flight a week to
                          Sardinia, on Tuesdays normally. There was also a regulation in place that stipulated that babies had to be 10 days old before they could fly as passengers on aircraft. Got the idea? Well, by the Saturday (11 days before our earliest available return flight to Sardinia), nothing was happening on the birth front despite there being plenty of promise of action in the way of contractions etc. So we asked the Maternity staff if Tina could be induced so we could catch a flight home after 10 days, as the thought of staying another week wasn't worth contemplating. Luckily the Maternity staff (all Military Nurses/Midwives) understood how we felt and agreed to induce Tina on the Sunday (May 18th). The process started at around 10 am, and like the first time this would take about 6 hours. The difference here was the surroundings, this was my (and definitely Tina's) first experience in/of a Military Hospital. It appeared as regimented in it's procedures as the rest of the Forces, which seemed a little odd, especially in Maternity as the 'patients' were mainly service dependants (servicemen's wives generally) or basically, civilians. Anyway time marched on and Tina's contractions came quicker and stronger, and the time came for Tina to push for glory. Reluctant to opt for an epidural again, Tina chose Pethadene and Gas and Air for her pain relief this time, which worked a lot better. Things were going really well, so much easier than the first birth, even if everything was regimented and 'Yes Ma'am, No Ma'am'. Our second child was making good progress, Tina was pushing and breathing, pushing and breathing then Tina pushed some more but nothing happened, our baby had stopped, just before the 'final' leg of it's journey, just at the turn, against the base of Tina's spine. Of course all you Mothers' out there know that the baby makes the journey through the birth canal, y
                          ou help it by pushing it. Well uh-oh, our baby decided to stop , and wouldn't or couldn't be budged. A quick scan of the faces in the delivery room and I knew this could be serious. I can't remember how long this lasted, but it seemed an absolute age. There was talk of forceps and other procedures amongst the nursing staff and Doctors, but no sooner that they had decided on a plan when all of a sudden baby decided to start moving again! Phew! It appeared baby had taken a breather too! A few minutes later out she popped, our second daughter, Laura Ann. However what happened next blew my mind completely, and for those of you who are squeamish look away now, for what I am about to tell, you might not like. During the birth process and especially towards the final delivery I noticed 1 or 2 of the nurses do something which at the time I didn't pay a lot of attention to. I should have done. Now I knew that basically women give birth twice so to speak, first the baby then a few minutes later the placenta, but this was the first time I had seen it in practice as I missed it with our first daughter for one reason or another. Anyway, I didn't pay much notice to this but was aware it was happening. I was too busy glowing with pride at Tina and our latest addition. What happened next nearly sent me to the ground like a sack of spuds. The midwife, who was stood in front of me, had been doing something I couldn't quite see she then turned to me and had a silver plate in her hand. She shoved it under my nose and I was stunned at what was before me! It was the placenta! I'm not being funny, well I am, but it looked like one of them translucent carrier bags that had been stuffed with about 3lb of raw liver, 3lb of raw kidneys and other assorted raw meat type things, all awash in the placenta fluid. I was instructed to inspect it, and certain parts were pointed out
                          to me to show that everything was normal and had come out of Tina's womb as it should have. I was nodding but I can't remember why, I didn't have a clue what the midwife was talking about, I was still in shock! It was then, but I don't know if it is still the same, but apparently it was a requirement in the Armed Forces for husbands to check the placenta before disposal. But wait, it was also another military tradition for this, after I inspected the placenta that sat proudly on a silver plate, it was then offered to Tina, fried, boiled or raw. Tina declined, explaining she didn't feel hungry at that moment. Her face told a different story, the look of absolute horror was priceless, although we are aware in some cultures this is natural and often the mother eats the placenta. What happened next was also 'refreshing'. Tina was given Laura for a few moments only, then whilst the nursing staff went about their business cleaning Tina up I was given Laura and taken to another room and given the job of feeding our new daughter. I say feeding, it wasn't really it was a bottle of glucose water to give Laura her first boost in life before being returned to Tina for proper feeding. In those precious moments after birth I felt truly honoured and had a brief insight into that initial bonding moment usually achieved by mother and baby. I was in a room on my own with my daughter, giving her the very first fluid/feed in her life and I had tears in my eyes. This was a huge moment that men rarely get to experience. I felt that bond for just a few minutes and it was like nothing else I had ever done or felt. Anyway, everything else went to plan and we managed to fly home 10 days later. Our little tribe were now 4 in number, and it would be another couple of years before family member number 5 made an appearance. Time for another drink, and go to the loo while you are at it, you look like you n
                          eed it, I know I do. Okay, ready for the next instalment? ~~~~~ THE ITALIAN JOB ~~~~~ BOY - 8lb 3oz / ST. ELENA CLINIC, CAGLIARI, SARDINIA ******************************************* Sardinia, what a beautiful country, a paradise island off the coast of Italy. Sun, sea and se?oh dear Tina's pregnant again. Our third child was due towards the end of May 1989, in fact almost exactly 2 years after our second child. Now by this time I was feeling a little outnumbered, and I was really hoping that this time we would have a boy, although in truth as long as it was healthy and happy I didn't mind what sex our third child was?as long as it was a boy ;-) Otherwise I had this plan that we would continue to have kids until we got a boy. Why is that? Why do men want sons? I know I wanted a son but I couldn't tell you why I really wanted a son, it was just like that. This time around we decided to stay put in Sardinia, rather than uproot and move away again which we didn't want to do. So with the help of the Nurse who worked in our Medical Centre and spoke fluent Italian, we went and booked Tina in to a local private clinic that was contracted by the Air Force to take in mums-to-be when the need arose. The clinic was called the St Elena and the contract was that they provided 1st Class treatment and care for British Armed Forces dependants. Now, after experiencing this Tina and I very rarely complain about the NHS. We in Britain do not realise the level of care and service we get free compared to somewhere like Sardinia. The '1st Class' service we were afforded in the St Elena Clinic was probably equivalent to the basic NHS cover/care/treatment. The 1st Class treatment we were allowed cost the Air Force GBP1000.00+ for seven days, that was back in 1989 and only covered the cost of delivering the baby and a bed on the Maternity Ward. If there were a problem, the extra co
                          sts would spiral. One other thing to note was that we had to book, yes book, pain relief in advance, about 3 months in advance in fact. Tina booked Gas and Air. You see in Italy, well Sardinia at least, the culture is/was that pain relief wasn't really heard of in Maternity terms, they believed and practiced totally natural childbirth in all it's glory?and pain. To them it was like a 'rite of passage' into motherhood. Anyway time passed and baby grew, and luckily Tina was carrying mainly through the cooler months, otherwise it would have been hell in the heat of summer. This pregnancy went along smoothly actually, no dramas along the way etc. Well they say it's easier the more times you do it don't they? I say everything went smoothly, that was until delivery time! The date was 29th May 1989, it was a Monday, and we knew things were getting close as Tina was having her usual contractions, and they were starting to get closer together, so it was just a matter of time. I had been at work on a 12-hour dayshift and I was on days again the next day. That evening we went to bed quite early, about 10 pm, as we were both very tired? It was about 3 am when Tina woke up and nudged me awake too, she said "Steve, I think my waters have broke?" Now forgive me but I was still half asleep and my reply wasn't that intelligent, but the impact of Tina's words were slowly being absorbed by my brain. Anyway, my initial reply was "No they haven't love, you've just wet the bed, don't worry about it?" The next time Tina spoke it was more insistent and there was a definite hint of panic now, also Tina's initial statement had made sense to my brain, and then the adrenaline kicked in. I jumped out of bed in blind panic (even though I knew this moment was coming and had prepared for it, yeah right you're never ready for it), got dressed and continued running around spurred on
                          by a natural high. Tina also got up and got dressed whilst I went to a friends home just over the street. We had arranged with friends that when this time came we could call on the wife to come to ours and look after our daughters during the process, but we never expected it to happen at 3 in the morning, well you don't do you? Anyway that was sorted, phew, now to get Tina to the clinic. Now, I need to set the scene here (yes again), you see on the night in question it was raining, hard, then came the wind, thunder and fork lightning. If any of you have lived in or been to a Mediterranean country during the rain season you will know what I mean when I say this was a storm! It was about 7 miles from our home to the clinic, through the suburbs where we lived and into the heart of the city to the clinic, not far eh? Unless you have a storm to navigate that is. It was like a scene from a Horror/Suspense film, I kid you not. There were no other cars on the road, it was like the end of the world, the wind was howling, trying with it's might to force us off the road, then there was the rain, the torrential rain, and then that crazy fork lightning, where you could smell the electricity in the air. The spawn of Satan was on its way! Well that's how it felt. If there were any other cars on the road that night, imagine what they would have seen coming towards them - the demented, crazy look on the driver's face pressed against the windscreen, and then the look of agony, desperation and fear on the face of his female passenger, well what would you think? Hmm, thought so.. We made it to the clinic in one piece, and once inside finally started to calm down a little. Now the idea was that the Nurse from our Medical Centre would meet us at the clinic at this stage to help with booking in etc. I phoned her, but she asked if we minded if she didn't come as she was tired, and, as she knew I could speak some Italian, w
                          ondered if we could cope without her until later. I shouted down the phone at her, got a partial response then 'click' the phone went dead. So there we were, Tina and I in the clinic with the Duty Doctor and Nurse, and in my pigeon Italian, their pigeon English (baby pigeon at that) and Tina's very obvious condition we all understood each other. Tina was taken to Maternity wing, put into a bed, checked in that good old gynaecological way, no ceremony here, and then it was the wait, and this is when I noticed something strange. I noticed that I was not only getting strange looks from other expectant women on the ward but I was the only husband/expectant father present. I later found out that in this culture husbands/expectant fathers were not allowed at the birth of their children or for the following 7 days after the birth also. This, apparently, was the period that only mother and baby shared, giving them time to bond. It was strange to see and experience both the matriarchal and patriarchal sides of this society/culture at work, and they definitely could not grasp the concept of a husband being supportive of his wife and being present at the birth like I was. So time marched on and Tina was getting closer and closer to delivery time, and then again something else quite strange happened. In the UK and in the Military Hospital for the births of our 2 other children the midwives and Gynaecologists always insisted that the cervix had to be 10 cm dilated before Tina was allowed to push, and I understand this the practice generally. Yet here in Sardinia, once Tina reached 6 cm she was encouraged to start pushing, and initially this confused Tina insisting she had to wait until she was 10 cm dilated but she was still encouraged to push by the Italian nursing staff so Tina did. Afterwards, Tina explained that this actually made the labour easier to cope with and less painful, which was reinforced by the fact that Tina gav
                          e birth without the aid of pain-killing relief. Anyway back to the labour and delivery - once Tina started pushing (at the magic 6 cm) and baby started it's journey things went smoothly, then after a little while Tina was instructed to walk, yes walk, to the main delivery suite for the final stages. The walking aided the physics of gravity to take effect and help the baby move downwards. In the delivery suite things really started to happen, and I got a little too 'involved'. You see after being present at the other 2 births I thought myself something of an 'expert' in these matters and thought I could be of some help. So we have Tina part led/sat on the bed with legs in customary 'delivery-style' with the Gynaecologist positioned where *ahem* they normally position themselves, and I was stood next to the bed clutching Tina's hand, sorry no she was clutching my hand, nay it was more like a vice type grip. As the process got under way I positioned myself nearer to the Gynaecologist, to get a better view?however in my excitement I got in the way of the Gynae and he couldn't see what he was doing?oops sorry! Tina thought it hilarious seeing my head bobbing up and down giving her the 'OK' sign each time to show things were coming along nicely. I re-positioned myself as requested. Eventually out it popped, our third child, and I cheered in triumph as we were told we were the proud parents of a baby boy who we named Jonathon Paul. No sooner was he born when the umbilical chord was cut and he was whisked away to be cleaned up, and how they did that well, Tina and I just watched in jaw-gaping amazement. The nurse who took Jonathon had him in one hand and in the other she had a stiff bristled nailbrush. She then scrubbed (and I mean scrubbed) Jonathon clean, well she nearly scrubbed him to nothing. Then she swathed him in a bandage like material, from head to foot. The only visible part
                          of our son was his face, everything else was bound tightly which made him look half the size he actually was and sort of Rugby ball shaped. Sorry son, but it's true. Well, several days later Tina and Jonathon were allowed home and now we were 'Tribe of 5', we were a gang and that is how we often refer to ourselves. There is a little more to this story so please bear with me. You see Jon was born in a civilian Hospital in a foreign country so that meant I had to, by law, register him with the civilian Registrar of Births first before re-registering him at the British Consulate as a British subject, otherwise he was technically an Italian and once he reached 18 years of age would be eligible for Italian National Service. We still have h is Italian (Sardinian) Birth Certificate though which we treasure and reminds us of that time. So, there you have it, you made it to the end well done! For me there is nothing more precious, awe inspiring or miraculous as witnessing the birth of a new life, and sharing that experience with your partner/spouse. I can't properly find the words to express the emotions I went through whilst being present at the births of our children. Each time was different, and I would not have missed them for the world. To any expectant fathers out there I urge you to be present at the birth of your child, sharing one of the greatest moments you will ever experience in your life with your partner/spouse. The miracle of life, an experience of a lifetime.

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                            11.12.2001 23:32
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                            The reader may think it rather strange that a 64 years old and a bit apprentice geriatric is writing about birth but the purpose of this opinion is to announce to anyone who cares to read that on Saturday I had a momentous event. Well it wasn’t actually me but my grandson Gary’s partner Heather. As I said at 64 and a bit it is rather young to become a GREAT GRANDDAD but that’s what has happened to me. Born at 11.45pm on Saturday 8th December 2001, Teegan Jade Cooper entered this world at 7lbs 11ozs and yelled the place down - I’m told. Mother and daughter are doing well. So to Teegan I would just like to say, “Welcome to the world, may you find much happiness and joy in the years to come.” A message to DooYoo. “I know that this opinion isn’t exactly about the category in question but please don’t pull it. Don’t award miles instead or if you do let it gain miles, you have my word that their value will go into her piggy bank. After all it is Xmas and you wouldn’t deny a little girl her few minutes of fame, would you?”

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                              20.11.2001 19:21
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                              My baby was born in July this year. Not wanting to miss out, I tried just about everything with regards to childbirth and pain management. I thought sharing my experiences may be of some interest or use to you. I found reading other mothers birth stories very helpful. As this was my first baby, I wanted to make sure I was prepared. So I got as much advice on preparing for labour, pain relief and different methods of delivery. My baby was due on 27th June, so 2 weeks before-hand I packed my hospital/labour bags. As I had read so many different lists of what to pack, I combined them and ended up filling the boot of the car! I later found out that it really depends on what the hospital provides. Some hospitals are very good, as was mine, and I needed very little of what I packed. I felt really silly when the hospital staff started asking if I was moving in! I had stated in my birth plan that although I wouldn't rule anything out, my preference was a water birth, and I would only accept an epidural if really necessary. I had hired a TENS machine (pain relief in form of electrical currents passed through pads which are positioned on your back, kind of similar to a slimtone! They are approx. £30 to hire for 2 weeks, although this can be extended for no extra charge. You can also buy them for approx. £80, depending on how many babies you are planning to have!). I had also bought a liner for a birthing pool (£50, but re-saleable if not used). These are necessary if you are planning a water birth. I believe some hospitals require you to inform them in advance that you wish to use a birthing pool, but at mine you had to take the chance that one would be available. Alternatively you can hire birthing pools (approx. £100), to use at the hospital, but are responsible for filling/emptying them. My pregnancy had gone fairly smoothly. Although towards the end my blood pressure rose and my iron levels dropped, but not enough for i
                              t to be a problem. As I was so large and my dates had been almost spot-on I was convinced that my baby would definately be born on the due date (!), if not before! So when the 27th June arrived I spent all day anticipating my first labour pains, but not to be! I was booked into hospital to be induced on the 7th July, but told not to worry, as most women go into labour before they get that far. I had been getting quite strong Braxton Hicks contractions (practise contractions), and every twinge had me convinced `this was it', but they never regulated. I had to be at the hospital by 08.30 am on the 7th July, so at 8am my husband and I set off. Although I was excited because I knew it was certain that it wouldn't be long before I met my baby at long last, nerves were creeping in and I spent the whole journey still trying to will labour on! As soon as I was settled onto the ward the midwife came to examine me and give me the first dose of Prostin gel (which loosens the opening of the cervix to encourage the onset of labour. You are given the gel at intervals of every few hours until labour starts). I was then hooked up to the feotal heart monitor. It was very re-assuring to see babies heart beat. After about 1/2 an hour I was free to walk around the hospital. I was due to be back on the ward at midday, but when the midwife came, instead of administering the second dose of gel, she informed me and my husband that because the delivery floor was too busy and I was not yet in labour, I would not be able to have any more gel until the following day. Although we totally understood that there was nothing they could do , we were very upset. I really didn't want to stay in hospital any longer than I had expected. However, I did start to get pains later that day, which were becoming stronger and more frequent. These were bearable at first, but after a while I decided to try the TENS machine. My husband asked the midwife to help hi
                              m attach the pads to ensure they were correctly positioned. I found it gave reasonable pain relief, but the pads quickly became unsticky and started to stick to my T-shirt! It is not sufficient for the later stages of labour. As it seemed things were starting, my husband was allowed to stay beyond visiting hours, which was a great comfort. At about 10pm the midwife confirmed I was in labour (2cm dilated). Whilst still on the ward I was able to have Entinox (gas and air), which I know makes some women feel sick, but it just made me feel a nice kind of giddy, and was a great relief. When I felt I needed something stronger I had to request to be transferred to the delivery floor. My experience of midwives so far had been really good, all that I met had been really kind and helpful, but upon arriving on the delivery floor I met the midwife from hell! After examining me, she announced I wa NOT in labour. The pains I had been experiencing were due to the gel and were aptly named Prostin pains! She then proceeded to send my husband home (at 2am in the morning) and told me I could have some Pethidine(given by injection), which would ease the pain and send me to sleep. Ha Ha! Although many women swear by Pethidine (some expereincing the effects of other not quite so legal drugs!)I found it no help at all. It took the edge off the pain with the assistance of the Entinox for about 30 mins and instead of sleeping I spent the entire night howling!! Morning saw the back of nasty midwife and the arrival of a much more sympathetic midwife, who calmed me down and called my husband asking him to come back in as AT LAST! I was in labour! Things progressed fairly quickly from then on and by midday I was 9cm dilated. Late afternoon though, and I was still 9cm dilated! I was told I would have to have a hormone drip to speed things up and an epidural to help me cope with the pain, which would increase quite rapidly after the drip. As my birth plan had
                              gone out of the window by now, and I was tired and in pain, the thought of the epidural was quite appealing! The epidural took about 15 minutes to set up, and although not very pleasant, wasn't as bad as I had imagined. It also gave me instant relief, which was great! I wouldn't hesitate to have one again. It was mainly the thought of the needle that had originally put me off as I have a needle phobia, so if I can do it anyone can! Another thing that bothered me was people thinking I was a wimp! I realise now that everyone has a different level of pain threshold and why go through all that pain if you don't have to?! Don't try to be a hero! Once again I was hooked up to the feotal heart monitor, but this time, babies heart beat was fluctuating, so the doctor was called. He said that if the baby wasn't born soon and it carried on like that , I would need a caesarean. I never imagined it would come to this and the thought frightened me, so I said I would really like to try to delvier naturally. The epidural was allowed to wear off, so that I could feel when to push. I was so nearly there when babies heart beat kept disappearing altogether. The doctor was called again. This time I had to go to theatre. Tiredness and panic had taken over by this point, and I told the doctor he was `scissor happy and coudn't wait to cut somebody open' (sorry to that doctor!). Maybe, due to my protests, they tried a Ventouse delivery first (Suction cap attached to babies head. A bit like a large Dyson!) This failed, so they increased my epidural until I was numb from my chest down. Elliott was born by caesarean at about 10.30pm on the 8th July. (It is a wierd sensation, although you feel no pain you can feel pulling and tugging!) Despite everything, he was a healthy 9lb 3oz and except for jaundice he was fine. The operation should take about 45 mins - 10-15 mins. to deliver the baby and another 30 mins. to
                              be stitched back up. So after about 1 1/2 hours of being in theatre I was beginning to worry!. Apparently, I was bleeding heavily, and they needed to stop the bleeding before stitching me. I remember little after this. The emergency surgeon was called, my husband ushered out, and I was given a general anaesthetic. I woke the next day on the High Dependancy Unit with tubes, drips and bags hanging off me everywhere. The nurse by my bedside, gave me some Morphine and told me I had lost several pints of blood and had needed a transfusion. Because of my rare blood type, they had trouble finding a match and had kept me sedated as I kept having fits. All I was concerned about though was seeing my baby, so I was taken back to the delivery floor. My husband was there with Elliott. Although I felt close to death, this must of been the best feeling so far! Meeting your new baby properly for the first time must be the most beautiful moment in any womans life. I recovered very quickly over the next few days and one by one the catheter, drains, drips and IV line were removed (equally as yuk as it sounds!). The emergency surgeon called out that night came to see me and told me that they thought they had lost me and at one point my blood count was the lowest (3.9) he had seen on anyone who wasn't on their way to the mortuary! He also said that my husband had been brilliant, he had spent all night between me and Elliott ( who had needed phototherapy (mini solarium for babies!) for his jaundice). As I was breast feeding and caring for Elliott myself I was allowed home after only 5 days. Midwives and health visitors kept visiting to check I wasn't depressed because of what happened. I was just happy that Elliott and I were both ok! My only regret is the worry I caused my husband (who was a constant source of support) and my family. I have been told there is no reason I can't have a normal delivery next time. Although I would
                              n't have another induction. If I was overdue I have been advised to opt for an elective caesarean. I am not put off having any more children, although my husband will take some convincing! (he is worried about it happening again). The whole thing is just a bad memory I have put behind me, besides Elliott is worth it and more.

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