At 29 weeks, Heidi and I went to antenatal classes as advised by the midwife. I've always been anxious about my role during Heidi's labour, and whether or not I'd feel adequate enough. I completely understand the thought of labour can be scary for the mother, but it's not the most exciting time for the second parent either, having to watch their beloved endure such pain, I don't know, I'm a nervous person anyway but this just kept playing on my mind!
At the antenatal classes, we had an introductory game which was awkward. We had to introduce our partners and what we wanted the baby to inherit from them., "This is my wife Heidi, and I hope the baby inherits her kind loving nature." "This is my wife Kirsty, and she is not the father" thank god the room chuckled with us!! Then we discussed all of our troubles and woes and obviously the majority of those fears stemmed from the 'what ifs' things go wrong?! Heidi and I hadn't discussed our birthing plan as of yet, so it definitely opened our minds to what we would prefer, esp if things went wrong.
Like most, our birth plan was a nice peaceful water birth with gas and air on the midwife led birthing ward at the Princess Anne Hospital. We chose the hospital as opposed to the New Forest Birth Centre just to ease our minds, Heidi's family carry the curse of the first child. Their first births haven't been the best or easiest, in fact, they've been quite the opposite, very traumatic and quite dangerous! We did discuss if anything went wrong, what route would we go down. We definitely did not want pethidine, there seemed no benefits to the drug at all, the main reason being it effects the baby. We wanted to avoid an epidural, forceps and a c-section unless absolutely necessary. We wanted to feel as though we were in control of our birth and those interference's took that out of our hands. We decided that if the pain became too much we would take a drug called Remifentanil, trailed in a few trusts but currently not widely available. This drug takes the pain away from you rather than you away from the pain, so you were still very much in control. The drug is self administered so you can have it as and when you need it as opposed to it being a constant block like an epidural and it takes a significantly less amount of time to clear from yours and baby's body than the other drugs.
So, now it was all in place, the birthing plan done, we had everything we needed and the hospital bag packed. It was just a waiting game now....
Heidi was getting very fed up, so in the weeks leading up we made a massive effort to be very active, taking Trudy puppydog on long walks twice a day on stony beaches etc in the hope gravity would do its thing. We tried pineapple, curries, raspberry leaf tea...I mean we were close to getting castor oil haha!!
On Saturday 23rd July, 39+2, at 5am, Heidi woke up needing to "blow off", as you do first thing in the morning, but no, instead, her waters broke. She left her trail around the house and my god waters do not smell like water, they smell like stale swimming pool water! It's not horrendously offensive, but definitely tickles your nasal glands!! I had to go off to work, so her mum took her to the New Forest Birth Centre who confirmed her waters had in fact gone, Heidi stayed with her mum all day, which was lucky because I think we all under estimate how much water there really is around a baby!! Like maternity pads just don't cut it, there's way too much for them to catch! Instead, Heidi was wearing size 4 nappies in her pants!! That's right, nappies, because nothing else would hold the amount of water being lost!!
Because Heidi's waters had broken, but she hadn't started contractions, she was given until the following morning to go into labour naturally before they induce her, just because the risk of infection is higher without the waters protecting baby. We read lots of statistics saying 9/10 women will go into labour naturally, but no, that would be too easy. So the next day at 7.30am we went in for an induction.
They started with the pessary at 8am, we kept moving around in the hope gravity would work. 6 minutes later Heidi started to contract! They gave us these bed pads for Heidi's waters, me being me, put it on upside down so the water was pooling underneath Heidi's bottom and I had to try and get this puddle from the bed to the toilet!! I was never good at the egg and spoon race at school!! After a long walk around the local cemetary, the contractions stopped.
At 6pm they decided to start Heidi on the hormone drip, oxytocin, to move things along quicker. Heidi was contracting 4 in 10 within a few minutes, they kept increasing the dosage and increasing the dosage to keep things moving. But this ended in Heidi being overstimulated and contracting far too often! By midnight, Heidi asked for gas and air to help with the pain. That was an experience! Heidi's lips went numb so there was plenty of horse impressions, like a child! And it deepened her voice so she thought she was Cher. And it made her head feel so heavy she thought it was going to fall off! Made for some great entertainment haha!! By 1am, after labouring for 7 hours, we thought this was it, a cm an hour so they say, we must be close!! No, after 7 hours in complete agony, Heidi was only 1cm dilated, for those of you that may not know, you don't start pushing until you're 10cm dilated!. The midwife said she needed an epidural because she needed to rest, this labour was going to be a long one and she needed the energy to push. Heidi was so upset, it's exactly what she didn't want, but we all knew she needed. She was exhausted!
The anaesthetist came in, and my god, watching Heidi have an epidural was hands down the worst thing I've ever had to watch! Ever! It was awful! The size of the needle was enough to put anyone off, it's huge!! She had to sit up, and try to stay still whilst still contracting and it was just a lot. Even for me who couldn't feel it. I cried. But after a few minutes, the pain subsided. Although she wasn't completely pain-free and she could still move her legs, it was a million times better and easier to watch.
Heidi's mum went home once she settled after the epidural, and was going to come back at 8am. Heidi was due another examination at 6am so I said I'd text her how it goes. Things wouldn't happen that fast anyway, a cm an hour right? It'll be fine.
It'll be fine, it'll be fine. I couldn't have been more wrong. We couldn't have been more wrong! Heidi's blood pressure is naturally very low, but it dropped ridiculously low. She began to shake like she was having a seizure and baby's heart rate kept dipping too. We had people in and out inspecting it all night, and they kept increasing and decreasing the drip accordingly to try and keep everything stable. But it was a rollercoaster of a night.
At 6am, Heidi was re-examined. 4cm, finally, we can now say we're in established labour!! But because of the nights events, the doctor came in to just check things out. She asked if she could do a scratch test on baby where they take a blood sample from his head to check to pH levels are all okay. By now it was 7am, she bought in another midwife to act as a runner for the sample to get the results back ASAP. The Doctor re-examined Heidi again at 7am to which to all of our disbelief, she was fully 10cm dilated ( after an hour!!) and ready to push. The doctor explained, if the results of the test are fine, we will push, if not we will be wheeled down to theatre for a forcep delivery where if anything went wrong we would have an emergency c-section. The scratch test was taken, the runner had left and returned. "7.11". That's all that was said and then the next few minutes were so fast! The doctor changed her demeanour, told us the baby had to be delivered now by forceps and there was no time to take us to theatre, The room filled with doctors/nurses/midwives/paediatricians. The doctor said that the baby probably wouldn't cry when he came out but not to worry. Heidi is crying, I'm trying not to. I'm frantically calling Heidi's mum to get her back to the hospital! Shouting at her dad to get her mum out of the bathroom and get her to us NOW! It all happened so fast.
Heidi needed to push while the doctor was setting up. So she did. Half the baby's head was out. But it wasn't quick enough. After two pushes/pulls with the forceps and an episiotomy, Woody was here. at 07:16am on 25th July weighing 6ibs 9oz. It was the best and worst day of my life. And we both cried with relief, in one way or another! And in true Palfrey style, he came out and pooed straight on the midwife!! GOOD BOY!!
As the doctor said, he didn't cry, he went straight over to the paediatrician for some tough loving to resuscitate him. And after what felt like a life time later, he finally screamed!!
He was given to Heidi for skin to skin whilst they stitched and cleaned her up. And what was her first words? "Doesn't he look like an alien!" It was sort of true haha! This poor little life had been dragged out into the world in the most barbaric way! So yes he was very swollen, he did resemble a hammerhead shark and Heidi probably did say what everyone was thinking....As usual haha!!
Considering he was an emergency forcep delivery, he's wounds weren't half as bad as what they could have been, in fact, he got off very lightly! The "7.11" shouted when the runner entered was in relation to his oxygen levels, a normal level is 7.45, a slight concern is 7.25 and anything less is an emergency. So it was for that reason he was delivered so quickly and he didn't scream when he was first born. It's worth mentioning, I don't think Heidi could have been in better care, the staff at the Princess Anne Hospital over those 2 days were absolutely incredible, I truly believe the situation could have a thousand times worse without their difficult decision making and prompt delivery! We're forever grateful!
Regardless of the traumatic experience, he is so beautifully perfect. He's healing very well, as is Heidi, and he is a spitting image of his mother! He was 100% worth the whole journey, but as it stands, I think he'll be an only child and we're so fine with that!! We're just excited to open and share our lives with this precious little boy! <3
- Hi, I'm Kirsty. I'm 23 years old from Southampton, UK. I studied Forensic Biology at University and graduated in 2014. I work as a Assistant Store Manager in retail because I love it, I love people and it allows me to spend more time with my family :)I have been with my wife, Heidi, since February 2012, married since April 2016 and have a beautiful baby boy, Woody, together born 25/07/16.We're a very active family, we have a little Westie, Trudy, too. So we love dog walking, holidays and lots of adventure!!I've blogged our journey through planning our baby, trying, conceiving, pregnancy and onwards in the hope of helping others fulfil their dreams as we did. Find link below. Enjoy :) and please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions :)
Wednesday, 3 August 2016
"I blew off and my waters broke!"
Hi, I'm Kirsty. I'm 23 years old from Southampton, UK. I studied Forensic Biology at University and graduated in 2014. I work as a Assistant Store Manager in retail because I love it, I love people and it allows me to spend more time with my family :)
I have been with my wife, Heidi, since February 2012, married since April 2016 and have a beautiful baby boy, Woody, together born 25/07/16.
We're a very active family, we have a little Westie, Trudy, too. So we love dog walking, holidays and lots of adventure!!
I've blogged our journey through planning our baby, trying, conceiving, pregnancy and onwards in the hope of helping others fulfil their dreams as we did. Find link below. Enjoy :) and please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions :)